It’s Spirit’s 25th year! Programs to feature sanctuary tours, photo safaris, clinics — and one special birthday!

/ Programs

Spirit was born May 8, 1995. Photo by Ondrea Hidley.

Our smart, curious and mischievous Kiger mustang ambassador Spirit turns 25 this year, and RTF is ready to celebrate! On Saturday, May 9, at our Lompoc, Calif. Come join us at our headquarters sanctuary with a special benefit event. Tickets will be limited so stay tuned for more information on this special event!

Spirit served as the muse and model for the animators of the beloved 2002 DreamWorks Animation film “Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron.” An Emmy Award-winning spinoff for small children, “Spirit: Riding Free,” has run for eight seasons on Netflix.

For animators to create realistic movement on the screen, filmmakers needed to find a horse that embodied the characteristics of a wild mustang. A colt born to a stallion and mare from the Kiger Herd Management Area in Oregon, Spirit was selected because of his beautiful conformation, wide-set eyes, and thick wavy multi-colored mane and tail.

After the completion of the film, DreamWorks selected RTF’s American Wild Horse Sanctuary to be Spirit’s new home. Here, he continues to draw fans of all ages from around the world, from as far away as New Zealand and Spain, as well as special Make-a-Wish visitors.

In 2018, the EQUUS Foundation inducted Spirit into the Horse Stars Hall of Fame.

“Spirit the horse, the movie, and the TV series have served as the gateway to the world of horses for children and adults and specifically wild horses who embody a uniquely American sense of freedom and a key place in our country’s history and culture,” the Foundation wrote in his introduction.

Preliminary Program Calendar

Opening Day / Spirit’s Birthday Event: May 9 in Lompoc

Sanctuary Tours: May 2, June 6, July 4, Aug. 8 in Lompoc

Family Day: June 13 in Lompoc

Photo Safaris in Lompoc: May 23, July 25, Aug. 22

Photo Safaris in San Luis Obispo: April 25, May 16, June 27, July 18, Aug. 15, Sept. 19

Carolyn Resnick Liberty Training: June 18-20

Private tours and photo safaris are also available by arrangement. 

Click here for more information about programs and to register!