By Christy Krueger

Once a year, volunteers of the non-profit Equine Voices Rescue and Sanctuary invite the public to kick up their heels and join them for a rippin’ good time at its “A Very Special Horse Event” fundraiser.

Previously held on Tucson’s far Southeast side, the event moved in 2009 to Brandi Fenton Memorial Park on River Road. Event coordinator Carol Grubb said the new site is closer to town, includes more parking spaces, a covered hay barn for silent auction items and a wonderful park. Last year “we had a tremendous increase in attendance,” with approximately 1,000 attendees, up from 650 the previous year.

While the cause is a serious and important one, the day’s festival-like atmosphere has something for the whole family. Gulliver, Equine Voices’ mascot, will be available for photos, and some of his rescued buddies will join together in demonstrating training techniques used in their rehabilitation.

Gulliver’s onsite namesake store will sell unique clothing, art and jewelry, while the tack shop will have larger items for the barn such as saddles, halters, reins, boots and pads. This year, for the first time, a kids’ area will be set up with items for sale under $20 and fun activities such as face painting.

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