Special Events


The Fred Rathbun Memorial Horse Show 

In 1980, Fred and Julie Rathbun began working with the Equestrian Special Olympics at a time when there were only 25 Olympic Participants. Fred led the horses while Julie rode behind each participant to be sure they stayed safe and didn't fall off the horse. It was their efforts that led to The Western Saddle Club establishing a unique relationship with the City of Phoenix to produce the Unique Horse Show to serve the Special Needs community. WSC and Fred and Julie Rathbun worked with the group each year until 2006 when Fred passed away. Inspired to continue the footprint that Fred and Julie started with the Special Olympics since that time, the Unique Horse Show was respectfully renamed The Fred Rathbun Memorial Horse Show. 

For a number of years, The Western Saddle Club and the City of Phoenix co-sponsored the event. Within the last decade the City of Phoenix was impacted by budget constraints and decided they could no longer participate as a co-sponsor of the event. At that time, The Western Saddle Club made the decision to continue sponsoring the event and now holds the financial responsibility to put the show on. The city continues to provide support with program advice, historic data and shows up on the day of the event on their own personal time. 

Sponsors are needed to ensure that The Fred Rathbun Memorial Horse Show is able to live on in Fred's legacy. We are working constantly to find companies, individuals and families that are able to help with donations to assist with the approximate $3,000 budget it takes for participant awards, materials and meals to keep this event going. 

Providing financial donations will get each sponsor printed recognition in the event program as well as several announcements during the actual show. 

At this time, the next Fred Rathbun Memorial Horse Show is planned for the spring of 2019 and is one of our largest events drawing volunteers from all over the community. 

Contact Joel Wiltgen for questions at 602 499 2541 or joelwiltgen@msn.com for any questions of if you are interested in being a sponsor. 


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