At our booth at the Minnesota Horse Expo, we realized Dan Patch was a lot like Prince.
Everyone in Minnesota has a Prince story. We may have seen him surprise everyone (even the band) by walking on stage to play with a band, run into him at a restaurant, or even been in the crowd at First Avenue when he filmed “Purple Rain”.
As it turns out, many people’s grandparents had similar stories; except there’s weren’t about Prince. They were about the great horse, Dan Patch.
Countless people told us how their grandparents had been at the Minnesota State Fair the day he set the record for the one mile pace, how their father had owned a son or daughter of Dan Patch, or that when their grandparents passed, they inherited a cherished, framed painting or print of Dan Patch that had hung in a bedroom or living room for years.
Dan Patch, and the memories of family members who loved him and passed on his legend made people smile.
I don’t even have to wonder whether there will one day be a bronze of Prince somewhere in downtown Minneapolis. In fact, just yesterday I saw a Facebook post about someone trying to do just that.
Prince has been gone just a week, however. The thought of a sculpture of him may be premature.
Dan Patch, however, has been gone a century. Needless to say, his bronze is overdue.
To donate to the Dan Patch Project, just click on GiveMN.org. Or, if you prefer, make your tax deductible donation payable to our fiscal sponsor: Springboard for the Arts, 308 Prince Street, Suite 270, St Paul, MN 55101. Be sure to write “Dan Patch Project” in the memo section.