US Stamps

Cats Charity to appear on one of five U.S. Horses stamps in 2024

Dec 7, 2023, 11 AM

By Allen Abel

The gray white beauty named Cats Charity — “quite the cute little horse,” in the words of one of her several owners — is one of five horses that will be featured on a set of United States stamps to be issued in 2024.

She was rather small for a registered half-Arabian, with a bloodline that could be traced back to the paddocks of the Polish gentry more than a century ago.

Much later, in her sire’s line, were stallions that, in their own noble way, paced the pastures of the San Gabriel Valley of California. One of these was named Class Cat, and Cats Charity, foaled in 1997, was one of his offspring.

“Some horses are willing to do anything you ask,” Karen Wegehenkel, the former owner of Cats Charity, told Linn’s Stamp News. “But she was not one of them. Some people would call her difficult or untrainable. I think that’s stupid; no horse is untrainable if you are patient and give them the benefit of the doubt.”

“Force did not work with [Cats] Charity,” she said. “When forced she would freak out and run. Instead, she gladly performed for the softest of cues. She was a big puppy in the end, but it took a while to get there.”

Wegehenkel, who spoke with Linn’s from Medford, Ore., celebrated the fact that, in the coming months, her photograph of Cats Charity will be included on one of five U.S. Postal Service stamps picturing horses. A sixth horse, peering out from a stall, will appear in the selvage of the pane of 20, according to the USPS.

The stamp featuring Wegehenkel’s photo is shown on the middle stamp in the vertical strip of five Horses stamps pictured above.

Three of the six animals are no longer living. Cats Charity, shown with Wegehenkel in the second picture above, is one of the deceased.

Wegehenkel, who immigrated to the United States from Germany 20 years ago to work for Amazon in Seattle, has been a professional equine photographer for the past decade.

She told Linn’s that the USPS selected her portrait of Cats Charity from thousands of other pictures of horses in the Getty Images archive. The other four horses to appear on the stamps were photographed by Stephanie Moon of Dublin, Ohio.

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