Cayman horse rescue schedules fundraiser

A horse rescue organisation in Grand Cayman is looking to harness the notoriety of the American thoroughbred Triple Crown season to help raise money for facility upgrades and basic medical supplies. 

The Cayman Equine Sanctuary will be holding a fundraising family fun run with registration beginning at 3pm on Saturday, 2 June at the Cayman International School near Camana Bay.  

Titled “Run for the Roses Fun Run”, participants will begin the 1 1/4-mile run at 5pm, with a happy hour reception to follow from 5.30 to 7pm courtesy of Karoo and Michael’s Genuine. The Kentucky Derby – also known as the Run for the Roses – is the first jewel in horse racing’s vaunted Triple Crown and is run at 1 1/4 miles at Churchill Downs. 

There is a $20 entry fee for the family fun run, which will be held on the roads around Cayman International School. There will be gifts, a ladies’ hat contest and drink specials during the reception scheduled for the paseo at Camana Bay. All proceeds will go toward the Cayman Equine Sanctuary, which is located in Newlands. 

“Dust off your finest hat, shine up your sneakers and get ready to celebrate the Kentucky Derby Cayman style,” said Dr. Brandy Darby, founder of the equine sanctuary in Grand Cayman and a teaching veterinarian at St. Matthew’s University. “Come and enjoy a day of fundraising with a family fun run, a mint julep and fancy hat competition fit for the finest fillies and foals.” 

The timing of the event coincides with thoroughbred racehorse I’ll Have Another’s quest to sweep the Triple Crown. The smooth-striding 3-year-old colt has already won the Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes, and has an opportunity in the Belmont Stakes on 9 June to become the first horse to sweep the classics since Affirmed in 1978. 

“We tried to schedule [the family fun run] for the day of the Kentucky Derby [Saturday, 5 May], but there were scheduling conflicts with other events like Batabano,” Ms Darby said. “This will be our biggest fundraiser yet and we have very specific goals for this one.” 

Ms Darby founded the Cayman Equine Sanctuary a year ago after taking possession of a pair of abandoned horses that had been slated for euthanasia. 

Annie, 7, and Gracie, 31, are both Cayman ponies and have been living on the sanctuary grounds since last summer.  

The horses also have been used as a therapeutic tool by helping at-risk youth learn responsibility and compassion through a programme partnership with the government’s Children and Family Services agency. 

Ms Darby said she would like to use the proceeds from the fundraiser to purchase medical supplies, including a first aid kit, as well as construct a run-in shelter for the horses to provide them relief from the elements. She said she would entertain the idea of taking on additional horses in the future; however, certain obstacles remain and would need to be addressed. 

“The biggest challenge we have is the space of the land and, of course, money,” she said. “It costs a lot to properly care for horses.” 


For more information, contact Ms Darby by e-mail at [email protected] 

Brandy Darby Equine

Dr. Brandy Darby is seen with rescued horses Annie, left, and Gracie at the Cayman Equine Sanctuary in Newlands. – Photo: File