Resident Equine Spotlight - Solar Blues
Solar Blues (aka "Sunny") is a 24-year-old mare that arrived at Unbridled Spirits in October of 2020.

This New York bred had an abbreviated 13-race career, but still pocketed almost $90k in lifetime earnings, while hitting the board seven times and registering her two wins at Aqueduct and Belmont Park.

After her time on the track was cut short at only 4 years old, most likely due to injury, Sunny served as a broodmare for several years. Before coming to Unbridled, she had been retired from breeding, but spent over 10 years alone in a Des Moines pasture with very little human contact.

With help from our resident miniature horse Nikki, however, and our patient volunteers and staff, Sunny has made a successful transition to her new forever home. And Unbridled is also very grateful to Denise Zahradnik, a local Lisbon native, who sponsors Sunny.

Please consider making a one-time donation toward Sunny's daily feed and care or, for a more significant commitment, check out becoming a Sponsor, like Denise, for Sunny or one of our other residents (see below for info about our Financial Sponsorship Program).

Unbridled Spirits is a 501(c)(3) non-profit charitable organization, so all donations are tax-deductible, with annual statements provided to donors.

For $50 to $400 per month, you could sponsor, in part or wholly, one of our residents like Solar Blues (pictured here with her buddy, Nikki), through our Financial Sponsorship Program.

Sponsors agree to cover part or all of their selected equine's monthly care. Each of our equines costs $400 per month for basic care.

The equine, however, will not leave the Unbridled Spirits property. The Sponsor's monthly donation goes toward food, supplements, hoof and dental care, and training. Further costs are covered by the sanctuary's general fund.

In exchange, Sponsors receive a certificate commemorating the special relationship with their equine, photos and private updates, and one-on-one visits. Legally, the sponsored equine remains under the full and complete ownership of the sanctuary, so that all care and training decisions are made by Unbridled's staff.

Sponsors will also receive an annual statement showing the total financial support they provided for their sponsored horse, for the purpose of year-end tax filings. We hope that the joy of connecting to and supporting an equine through the Financial Sponsorship Program will be a gift that keeps on giving.

For more information on our list of equine residents and how to become a Sponsor, please contact Unbridled Spirits at 319-471-3545.
February Birthdays at Unbridled
Here are the foal dates this month for our equine residents. If you would like to donate as little as $5.00 to one or more of our "Birthday Funds," to help offset daily feed/hay costs, contributions can be sent directly to us through PayPal at [email protected]. Thank you!

5th - Alina Alina (1999)
14th - Valentinothelover (2002)
17th - Rambo (1997)
19th - Countdown Queen (2005)
28th - Pansamante (2006)

Kentucky Derby Championship Series
Beginning in 2013, the Kentucky Derby prep races were officially bundled under the banner "The Road to the Kentucky Derby." It was also at this time that the traditional qualifying factor for horses participating in the Derby, total graded stakes earnings, was replaced by a points based system assigned to the preps.

The "Derby Trail" has further evolved into four groupings of qualifiers. The most significant collection of prep races, the Championship Series, commences this month and consists predominantly of preps with the most points available to qualify for the "Run for the Roses" on the first Saturday in May.

Here is the Championship Series lineup for February, with available points:

19th — Risen Star/Fair Grounds (La.) -- 1st: 50 pts - 2nd: 25 - 3rd: 10 - 4th: 5
26th — Rebel/Oaklawn Park (Ark.) -- 50-25-10-5

"Buy a Bale" Hay Fundraiser
We're continuing to stock our winter hay supply and are asking for your help.

Our ongoing goal has been to secure 600 alfalfa hay bales for the winter months, at only $6.50 per bale.

If you would like to contribute a bale or two, please contact us at 319-471-3545 or [email protected] to make your pledge, which will go directly toward our hay supply.

Tours of Unbridled Spirits
For a private or group tour of our sanctuary, please contact us to set up your visit at 319-471-3545 or [email protected].
Come and blow off some steam with us. Schedule a tour NOW!

Equine Management Classes to return this Spring!
Curious about how to take care of an equine? We can teach you. Our Equine Management program educates horse lovers and potential volunteers of all ages about the best way to handle, feed and care for horses.

Each level of these courses is designed to further your equine education. You'll have to pass a test to reach the next level. You can also test out of various levels if you have prior knowledge about horse care.

Classes are five weeks in length, with students learning about:

  • Horse care
  • Parts of a horse's body
  • Grooming
  • Horse health and medical practices
  • Common horse illnesses and proper medication
  • Leading and riding
  • Horsemanship
  • Different equine sports

For more information on our management classes or to sign up, please contact Unbridled Spirits at 319-471-3545 or [email protected].
Unbridled Spirits Thoroughbred Sanctuary is a registered 501(c)(3) non-profit charitable organization that is in good standing with the Internal Revenue Service and the Secretary of State of Iowa. Founded in 2012, and located in Lisbon, Iowa, Unbridled Spirits is currently home to 35 retired equines and is the only Off-Track Thoroughbred (OTTB) sanctuary in the Midwest. Over the past year, Unbridled Spirits has received grants from United Horse Coalition, The Humane Society of the United States, After the Finish Line, A Home for Every Horse, The Miccio Foundation and Thrivent.
PO Box 663
Lisbon, IA 52253