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Two-legged Derby Day runners will help aging horses

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Two-legged Derby Day runners will help aging horses
Farmington Minnesota P.O. Box 192 / 312 Oak St. 55024

The first Saturday in May is a big day for many horse enthusiasts. It’s the day some of the top thoroughbred horses race in the Kentucky Derby.


Farmington- and Rosemount area residents will get to run their own race that day this year. On May 3, This Old Horse will hold a 5k fun run at its home, Wishbone Ranch, which is located just west of Highway 52 at 190th Street.

This Old Horse is a non-profit organization dedicated to retired, rescued and recovering horses. At Wishbone Ranch, horses that might have been put down or neglected simply because they could no longer work are looked after for the rest of their natural lives.

The Run For The Roses started last year, the idea of This Old Horse co-founder Nancy Turner. She wanted to do a 5k fundraiser, and figured a Derby-themed 5k would be fun, said This Old Horse Executive Director Kate Nelson.

They developed a committee of volunteers and launched the event last May. It was a great success, attracting about 300 5k participants and raising about $17,000 for the non-profit organization.

“We had a phenomenal turnout, despite the fact that … it had snowed the week before,” Nelson said.

This year’s event is looking even bigger, with twice as many participants already registered.

The 5k itself is more of a fun run than a race, Nelson said. While there will be a race clock for those who want to time themselves, most people last year jogged or walked, Nelson said. This year also added the virtual runner option for people who want to participate but can’t make it to the ranch, as well as the couch potato option for those who want to support This Old Horse but don’t want to run.

For the kids there will be the Four Furlong Fun Run. Furlongs are the unit used to measure horse race distances, Nelson explained. Four furlongs is a half mile. This race is for children ages 12 and younger. Mudonna, the mascot from the St. Paul Saints, will also participate in the run.

Besides the races, the Run For The Roses will have a silent auction, an open house and other post-race festivities.

“People can come and see what they’re actually contributing to,” Nelson said.

The 5k run begins at 10 a.m. Saturday, May 3. The kids’ Four Furlong Fun Run begins at 9:30 a.m.

The entry fee is $30 per individual, $25 per team member (teams must have at least four people), $18 for virtual runners and couch potato participants, $15 for youth ages 5 to 18 and $15 for youth ages 12 and under participating in the Four Furlong Fun Run. Day-of registration is $35.

Volunteers are also needed to help in other ways. More information is available on the event website.

Check-in begins at 8:30 a.m. at Wishbone Ranch, 19025 Coates Blvd. The silent auction, open house and post-race festivities will continue until noon.

For more information, go to or call 651-437-1889. For more about This Old Horse, go to

Katrina Styx
Katrina Styx has been a reporter for the Hastings Star Gazette since 2010. She has a bachelor's degree in English with a minor in journalism from the University of Wisconsin - River Falls. Prior to coming to Hastings, Katrina reported for weekly newspapers in Jordan, Minn., and River Falls, Wis.
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