SOUTHERN COLORADO — Some horse rescues in Southern Colorado put the “fun” in fundraiser by throwing their 4th Annual fundraising hoedown.

One of the rescues — Drifter’s Hearts of Hope — started with Jacqui Avis’s dream of rescuing a neglected Quarter Horse named Drifter.

“We just look around and we think about Jackie and her vision and we’re in awe,” said Jean Kirshner, a volunteer with Drifter’s Hearts of Hope.

Once Drifter was rescued, she wanted to continue rescuing horses, but money was an issue. So, they started selling horse cookies. Kirshner’s special needs daughter was also to get involved.

“They made these cookies in the shape of hearts and sold them. And they sold enough cookies so that they could go and rescue a horse.”

One of the rescue horses of Drifter’s Hearts of Hope.

And from there, it blossomed into larger fundraisers, like the one on Saturday.

“We’re super excited to get everyone out and about,” said Dani Ross, with Drifter’s Hearts of Hope. “And it’s I think the coolest part is getting everyone on the ranch and actually seeing some of the horses and seeing the the work we do.”

Drifter’s Hearts of Hope now has rescued about 675 horses so far, giving neglected horses a chance and older horses a new lease on life.

“They’ll come here and become fantastic fantastic kid’s horses,” said Colleen Fitzpatrick of Drifter’s Hearts of Hope.

Now, they’re celebrating how far they have come in eight years with the collaboration of Terolyn Horse Rescue.

“We thought that it might be really great to get all our people together and show everybody what we all do instead of just focusing on one or the other,” said Callea Sherill of Terolyn Horse Rescue.

Terolyn Horse Rescue saves abused and abandoned horses that have the potential of getting bought and used for a different purpose.

“We try to rescue them before they get sent into the slaughter pipeline and find them new forever homes,” Sherill said.

The hoedown rescue fundraiser kicked off with a summer party offering open bar, mechanical bull rides, face painting for all ages — all with the undertones of local band “The Trio”.

“Fundraisers should be fun,” Fitzpatrick said. “And we want to make this something that people really want to be a part of that make this something that the community gets to come together and celebrate horses.”