PUNTA GORDA, Fla -- A local horse rescue celebrated Derby Day by showing off its ex-racehorses and helping young girls build a foundation for success.
Track to Trail Thoroughbreds in Golden Gate Estates works to rescue, rehabilitate and rehome injured horses after their career in racing.
Its youth girls group, called "Power Up," took home first place at the Punta Gorda Horseman's Association Performance Horse Show Saturday.
Founder Cynthia Gilbert said it was an opportunity for the girls to learn some life-long skills, and for everyone to see that ex-racehorses can win at anything they put their minds to.
"What they do is work on horsemanship skills, confidence, leadership skills. And we went today to take them to a show, show off our thoroughbreds, and be proud of our ex-racers on Derby Day. So adopt, don't shop, get yourself a thoroughbred,” said Gilbert.
That's not the only place the rescue celebrated Derby Day.
It also took the horses to Moorings Park on Friday, where it helped those living in memory care to trigger memories of having gone to the race. It did so by allowing them to hear the sound of hooves on the pavement and experience the touch and smell of horses again.
If you’d like to learn how to get involved with or support the rescue, click here.