The Emo agency, inc.
As you may know, the EMO Agency, Inc., is a leader in equine insurance and boasts more than 30 years in the industry. What you may not know, though, is how EMO got its start.
The company was founded in 1983 by Ernest M. Oare, a prominent horseman from Warrenton, Virginia, whose family trains show and race horses. Oare developed EMO and recruited top young talent to assist him in providing insurance products for horsemen. Some of those early hires were Glenn Petty, Chris Norden, Martha Hall and E. Sue Bopp.
Bopp has been affiliated with the Oare family for decades, having trained with J. Arthur Reynolds, Oare’s father-in-law.
“I bought my first two horses from him,” said Bopp, who is also close friends with Oare’s wife, Betty. “When he retired, I started riding with Don Stewart. After graduating from college, I moved back to Warrenton and bought a young horse from Bucky Reynolds, Betty’s brother, and rode with him. So, when Ernie needed someone to help with insurance, he hired me. I started in January of 1986 and have never looked back."
In 1990, Norden, Hall and Bopp purchased EMO from Oare and continued to build the business.
“We decided not to change the name as it was already well established,” said Bopp, adding that it was also a tribute to the Oare family. “Sometimes people still think the Oares own the company, but they’re very gracious in passing along the correct contact information.”
Shortly thereafter, the trio added Michael Moran, of Burbank, California, to their partnership, making it a quartet. With Moran’s addition, EMO partners covered the country coast-to-coast, from Virginia and North Carolina to California.
In April of 2007, Norden left to establish his own business, so the remaining partners—Bopp, Hall and Moran—continued to expand the EMO products and services.
EMO currently boasts a variety of equine, farm and liability coverages, with an office staff of 14, nine field agents and three producers to assist clients with all of their equine insurance needs.
our agents and staff
“Our agents are all directly involved in the horse industry, so they’re familiar with the needs of horsemen,” said Bopp. “And we have a great staff here in Virginia to service the accounts. Many have grown up in the area and know horses and the business.”
EMO insurance clients live all over the country but are naturally concentrated in the Southeast and the West, where early on the partners established themselves.
“Our next goal is to grow our business in the Midwest, with performance horses and race horses,” said Bopp. “We’re also expanding our farm coverage. We are now able to insure your horses, your farm and your farm autos (trucks, trailers and cars). We are now a one-stop shop, where horsemen can find most of their insurance needs under one roof.”
In addition, EMO insures horse shows, so EMO customers can take comfort in knowing that when competing at Bob Bell’s Classic Company shows or Patrick Rode’s Southbound Show Management competitions, to name just two, they and their horses are well covered.
For Bopp, traveling each morning to the EMO office in quaint Warrenton isn’t really like work.
“Horses aren’t a 9 to 5 job, and neither is this,” she said. “I often think how lucky are we to incorporate our passion into a job. I’m incredibly fortunate. The people you meet in person and on the phone are horse people. You get to talk horses all day, and I get to go to horse shows and do business. It’s like a bonus!”
Martha Hall recently relocated to the equestrian hub of Tryon, North Carolina, where she competes in the jumpers and fox hunts, and Mike Moran travels the horse show circuit where he judges, designs courses and announces, and when time permits he enjoys time on his farm in Mounds, Oklahoma.