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Horses and Bunnies and Danes, oh my!

We are thrilled to have several stallions as part of our Derby Day Soiree. While the big ones will be on the track, these mini-horses will delight all at the club. There will be a playful parade and countless photo opportunities for all to enjoy. This Little Horse is a program of This Old Horse, Inc., a private nonprofit sanctuary for retired, rescued and recovering horses in Hastings, Minnesota. This Little Horses serve many different roles – some participate in therapy visits, some serve as community ambassadors and some are working on being good citizens and looking for homes. Several characteristics of horses that make them suitable as service animals include their calm nature, great memory, excellent vision, focus, safety orientation (looking out for danger), stamina and good manners. There will be volunteers from This Little Horse to tell you more. Visit their website here.

Since 1996, the Minneapolis Police Department has been represented by the horses and riders of the Mounted Patrol Unit. The unit currently has twenty-nine riders, eleven horses, and functions as a citywide unit, based out of the First Precinct. The Minneapolis Mounted Police Foundation is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization that was founded to provide ongoing financial support for the Mounted Patrol Unit for the Minneapolis Police Department. The Mounted Police Unit is a valuable asset to the community for several reasons, including Crowd Control, Crime Control, Search & Rescue, Large Animal Rescue, Community Policing, Sporting Events, Special Events and as a loved community outreach resource. Get to know the Minneapolis Mounted Police at their website.

The Super Bowl has the Puppy Bowl and now the Derby Day has the ‘Bunny Derby.’ Yes, Ladies and Gentlemen, a bunch of comfort rabbits from Peacebunny Island will be joining us for the festivities, on mission to share  hugs, hope and hoppiness.  Cheer for your favorite fuzzies as they compete for bunny bragging right in an agility race against the clock.   Several youth and Caleb Smith, the 15 year old business founder and owner of the 22 acre Mississippi River island, will introduce the rabbits and answer questions. Their educational service-learning programs mobilize youth to care for animals while learning STEM and wellness concepts — including a healthy eating.   More information

Just when you thought there could be nothing more, we are bringing together a beautiful collection of “Danes and Dames”. These lovely ladies are being dressed to match their dashing danes for your delightment. Great Danes are the most regal and gentle canine companions we know. Despite being called the Great Dane, these dogs have ties to Germany, not Denmark. The name came about when French naturalist Georges-Louis Leclerc, Comte de Buffon happened upon the breed while traveling in Denmark in the early 1700s. He called the large dog “le Grande Danois” or Great Dane, and the name just stuck. Depictions of these giant dogs can be seen on Egyptian monuments dating back to 3,000 B.C. Other ancient art and literature in countries like Tibet, Greece, and China allude to the dogs as well. Great Danes were once thought to ward away ghosts and evil spirits, which was why Scooby was the perfect companion for those meddling kids.