Thursday, June 24, 2021
Swiftsure Derby to Raise Funds for Therapy Steeds
Moose is one of two mini horses donated by Calista Todd, the other being Zeus. They’re helpful for introducing a new rider to the program who might be intimidated by a 1,000-pound animal.
Sunday, April 18, 2021


You could win a trip to Churchill Downs, home of the famed Kentucky Derby, or a two-day glamping vacation, should your horse cross the finish line first in Swiftsure Ranch’s second annual Swiftsure Derby.

The virtual horse race, designed to raise funds for the ranch’s therapy horses, will be held on Derby Day—May 1.

Supporters will be encouraged to pick their favorite horse and place bets, or sponsorship money, down on the horse. Each horse is racing to raise the most sponsorship dollars by the end of the day on May 1.

And everyone who lands in the winner’s circle with the horse who gets the most bets will be entered into a drawing to win one of two special prizes.

  • The first, The Ultimate in Glamping, will offer a two-day getaway or staycation at a campground by the Big Wood River that courses through the 191-acre Swiftsure Ranch south of Bellevue. Campers may enjoy fly fishing, hiking, relaxing around the firepit and soaking up the stars. They’ll also be offered unprecedented access to the ranch and the opportunity to ride the winning horse, provided it’s not a mini.
  • The second, the Kentucky Horse Country Weekend, involves a luxurious horse country weekend put together by 21C Museum Hotels.

You can check out the ponies at Power House in Hailey on Thursday, April 22. Or, watch the horse cross the finish line at Derby on the Deck at the Warfield Distillery & Brewery in Ketchum on May 1.

Funds raised will go towards equine-assisted therapy for adults and children with cerebral palsy, behavioral tics, motor control issues, coordination problems, reduced mobility and more. Such therapy is also beneficial for those experiencing anger, trauma, eating disorders, depression and lack of self-esteem and trust.

About 110 riders participate in therapy each week during a normal year—all at no cost to participants. It costs about $4,000 a year to care for each horse.

Among those in the stable—Zeus, God of Striker; Hoppin’ Scotch, who loves neck scratches and is patient with beginners; Wind Drifter, a barrel racer-turned therapy horse, and Soro’s Indy Striker, an appaloosa who reigns as the class clown.

To enter the Derby, go to through May 1. You can keep track of where your horse stands in the race through May 1 at that site, as well.


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