Dear Friend & Fellow Horse-Lovers,

Believe it or not, I finally retired from the day-to-day operations of Kensington Protective Products and I was really looking forward to relaxing, traveling and spending time with my wife, Kathi, and family in our new hometown, Las Vegas!  And then I met Horses4Heroes!  And now I find myself not traveling and relaxing, but staffing Kensington booths at local horse shows and rodeos … something I really wasn’t planning on!  Why?  Because for the first time in our 43-year history, Anthony and I feel strongly about this non-profit and we have pledged our full support to Las Vegas-based Horses4Heroes.

Over the years, we have been proud to support many worthy equestrian groups and non-profits with products and gift certificates.  However, we felt it was time to consolidate our efforts in order to truly make a difference in the lives of our country’s youth, adults and the horses we serve, by throwing the weight of our company, our reputation and contacts behind one specific non-profit that is truly making a difference, Horses4Heroes.  I hope we can count on your support, too!

In many areas, growth in the equine industry is flat.  Kids are being lured away from horses to the high-tech, fast-paced world of tablets, Smart Phones, texting, Facebook and Twitter.  Shows are getting smaller, lesson barns are closing, and more and more horses are going to auction and sadly, slaughter.  The American Horse Council’s Unwanted Horse Coalition estimates there are 180,000 horses looking for homes.  As an industry, this is a dangerous trend … too much inventory, not enough customers.

Horses4Heroes is an organization that is reversing this trend.  They are targeting a brand new group of customers, introducing them to horses, giving horses new homes and new jobs.  Specifically, they are going after the more than six million men and women whose daily sacrifices keep us safe and free (active duty military personnel, law enforcement officers and fire fighters/EMTs) and their families (with an average of three children the real number is closer to 20 million.)

That’s why we have decided, for the first time since our founding to support Horses4Heroes!

Horses4Heroes is a total grassroots effort through word of mouth and social media.  They have built an impressive national network with more than 240 able-bodied and therapeutic centers from border to border and coast to coast.  Every day, through programs such as Operation Free Ride, Back in the Saddle and 8.9.10: Ride to Win, they are introducing new families to horses and that’s good news for all of us in the equine industry.  The organization serves all ages, all riding levels, and supports all breeds and disciplines.

With more than 500,000 combat veterans returning home and joining our communities, many of whom have some form of PTSD, organizations like Horses4Heroes and the programs they offer (free or very low-cost) are becoming even more important.

Kensington will be donating a percentage of products to Horses4Heroes, a non-profit, 501 (c)(3) organization and looking for synergistic marketing opportunities to support affiliate centers as well as the national operation.

Our goal is to raise $250,000 for Operation Free Ride and Operation Free Ride Rodeo, which will allow 5,000 troops, veterans and their families to ride a horse for free, either by appointment at a host center or at upcoming free ride events.

Please join with us in supporting Horses4Heroes and help us help them revitalize the equestrian industry, by making horseback riding affordable for and accessible to an important and large segment of the population that loves the outdoors, embraces the western lifestyle, works in high-risk jobs and has a strong commitment to country, community and family.  As the old saying goes, “once a salesman, always a salesman!”  We really need your support, please give us a helping hand.  For more information, I invite you to visit their web site, or call the organization’s founder, Sydney Knott at 702.339.0615.

Thanks for your time.


Alan Gatto