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TO THE EDITOR:

As most Artesians know, I invented, patented, and took out a corporation named Itsa Blessing here in Artesia in the year 1975. I hired 10 girls and set up manufacturing and shipping fly bonnets (as I called them) to everywhere in USA, to South America, to Australia, even to Alaska.

I had taken out a half-page of The Horseman Magazine with coupons. No one had ever heard of such a thing as “the fly mask” before. We were swamped with orders. Remember the old Torres grocery store at Atoka? It was from that old building that those girls and I shipped the very first fly masks from.

By 1978, I was offered a sizable amount of money in royalties from a multi-million-dollar corporation (Farnam), and I accepted their offer. By 1996, my patent rights ended. My Detroit, Mich., patent attorneys phone me and asked me if I wanted to improve the fly mask’s design – I told them no, let the world have it. Then all horses (and cattle) will be protected from eye infection caused by flies.

And so infringers and all horse people jumped on the now-free chance to market my invention – the fly mask.

Many years have passed since then, and outrageous designs began to appear on the market – designs with materials that horses could barely see through and were blinding to horses. I have been very angry about that.

Not long ago, I came across a fly mask that was made with material that has 90-percent visibility nor does it tear easy. It is the Cashel Fly Mask. And lo and behold – horse people will find this fly mask at none other than our beloved Tractor Supply, located on Highway 285.

I urge all horse people to choose this fly mask for their horses. And to be careful not to buy or use those fly masks that half-blind their horses’ eyesight. Just remember that accidents might happen to a horse wearing a fly mask made of low visibility.

By the way, Tractor Supply has Cashel Fly Masks priced $26 – go get one, horse owners.

Jackie Blessing