Dan Patch And Prince Had A Lot In Common

Prince and Dan PatchAt 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.

Where To See Dan Patch At The Minnesota Horse Expo

West End Transit Hub at Minnesota State Fairgrounds - site for Dan Patch sculpture.

West End Transit Hub at Minnesota State Fairgrounds – site for Dan Patch sculpture.

When you visit the Minnesota Horse Expo this weekend, two questions may cross your mind. The first may be, “Where, exactly, is the sculpture of Dan Patch going to be installed if fundraising efforts are successful?”

The Fairgrounds West End Transit Hub is at the west end of the Grandstand, just up the hill from the intersection of Dan Patch Avenue and Liggett. Appropriately, the site sits on ground where the paddock once stood, and in all likelihood, where Dan Patch himself was harnessed before he raced.

Sixty percent of the Fair’s 1.8 million annual visitors enter through this gate, meaning Dan Patch would be on hand to greet them all.

And where can you see the maquette of Dan Patch, meet sculptor Alexa King, and make a donation for the statue?

The Dan Patch Project will be located in the Coliseum, in booth C 114.

We will have coffee mugs, tshirts and sweatshirts available for purchase.

Tax deductible donations may also be made through our fiscal sponsor, Springboard for the Arts.

Dan Patch Returns to the Fairgrounds

Dan Patch Heads HomeThe Dan Patch Project will celebrate Dan Patch’s return to the Minnesota State Fairgrounds when they unveil sculptor Alexa King’s maquette during the 2016 Minnesota Horse Expo, April 22-24.

The maquette, which is a sculptor’s “rough draft” of what will evolve into the finished sculpture will ultimately look like, is currently 1/12th the size of that of the final work. The next “draft” will be 1/6th the size and as sizes increase, so too does the detail on the piece.

The Dan Patch Project will be in booth C114 inside the Coliseum. Be sure to stop by and see the maquette, make a tax deductible donation or purchase a commemorative horse shoe or shirt.

All proceeds go toward the creation and installation of a permanent bronze sculpture of Dan Patch at the Fairgrounds West End Transit Hub.

See The Future: Dan Patch at the Minnesota Horse Expo

Barbaro In Clay

Barbaro In Clay

It’s difficult for many of us to imagine what a 1.5 times life-sized bronze sculpture of Dan Patch and his driver, Harry Hersey, racing for the finish line would look like.

Thanks to generous donations from the Minnesota Horse Council, Fleet Farm, the Savage family and many others, it won’t be hard much longer.

Our artist, Alexa King, has begun work on a maquette. What’s a maquette? In layman’s terms, this is a scaled down model or “rough draft” of what the final piece may look like.

And she intends to have it ready in time for the Minnesota Horse Expo, which is April 22-24 at the Minnesota State Fairgrounds.

The Dan Patch Project will have a booth inside the Coliseum where you can see the progress of the project, purchase t-shirts, coloring books and shopping bags to show your support or make donations toward the bronze’s completion.

In addition, the Dan Patch Historical Society will be sharing Dan Patch’s story with Expo goers in the Cattle Barn Friday and Saturday afternoons.

As always, we welcome anyone who wants to volunteer or contribute to the project. Just email us at danpatchproject@gmail.com and we’ll put you to work!

Dan Patch Project Receives Grant From Minnesota Horse Council

mhc-logoThe Dan Patch Project is the proud recipient of a $5000 grant from the Minnesota Horse Council.

The Minnesota Horse Council uses revenue from the Minnesota Horse Expo to provide “seed money” for new projects or capital improvements by horse groups in Minnesota.

The Dan Patch Project is a grassroots effort to fund raise for and install a bronze sculpture by renowned equine sculptor, Alexa King, of the legendary horse, Dan Patch, at the site of his world record one mile pace; the Minnesota State Fairgrounds.

A second bronze, paying tribute to Dan Patch and his owner, M.W. Savage, will be installed in front of the Savage Public Library in Savage, Minn.

The projects have been approved by both the Minnesota State Fair and city of Savage.

Give A Little Dan Patch This Holiday Season

Dan Patch Gives His Family A Ride

Dan Patch Gives His Family A Ride

As the holidays near and 2015 draws to a close, many of us are thinking about giving.

For some, giving may be in the form of a gift for someone who loves horses and history. If you’re stuck for ideas, a Dan Patch t-shirt may be the perfect gift. Just go to the right side of this page and click to order. We will make sure to get the shirt to you in time for the holiday.

And if your thoughts about gift giving are of a charitable nature, donations made to the Dan Patch Project through either our crowdsource site at GiveMN.org are tax deductible.

As we end the year, let’s help Dan Patch race once again at the Minnesota State Fair.

Dan Patch Starts His Comeback

Newborn foal doing first steps on a summer pastureBy Kari Lundin

I’ve decided embarking on a grassroots effort to permanently honor Dan Patch with bronze sculptures at the Minnesota State Fairgrounds and the city of Savage Public Library is a whole lot like being a horse breeder.

You plan and dream and hope and work and wait and then, finally, the foal comes.  And when it finally stands, long-legged and wobbly, you suddenly realize you’ve still got a long way to go.

After many months of dreaming and hard work, the Dan Patch Project is finally open for business. We make our fundraising debut this Saturday, August 29, at Running Aces Race Track, which is celebrating Dan Patch Day that night.

If you get a chance, stop by our booth. Our sculptor, Alexa King, will be on hand, as will early renderings of the State Fair site and concept sketches of the installations.

When you stop by, you can also check out one of Dan Patch’s shoes, order your own exact replica, buy a t-shirt or make a donation to help bring Dan Patch back to the Fair.

And if you can’t make it, remember, you can make donations at https://givemn.org/fundraiser/the-dan-patch-project55d61e153cb41 or send us a check made payable to our fiscal sponsor, Springboard For The Arts. That way, it will be tax deductible!

See you Saturday!


The Dan Patch Project is a sponsored project of Springboard for the Arts, a nonprofit arts service organization. Springboard for the Arts has been organized and operated to qualify as tax-exempt under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code; Taxpayer Identification Number 41-1690483.