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Ferdinand at the 1986 Kentucy Derby
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Derby season wouldn’t be complete without a healthy serving of formal red carpet affairs, and among those are a number of formal balls throughout the month and the town. One of the fancier affairs is

Ferdinand’s Ball

, happening on May 1st at the Muhammad Ali Center. The event boasts a number of special guests, three of which were announced today as coming from the 2013 NCAA champions Louisville Cardinals basketball team - Peyton Siva (now of the Detroit Pistons), Russ Smith and Luke Hancock.


Ferdinand’s Ball is hosted in honor of 1986 Kentucky Derby winner Ferdinand, who was later sent to Japan for slaughter despite being an incredibly celebrated racer. The incident helped draw attention to the plight of retired thoroughbred racers, who often face mistreatment, abuse - and even death - after they leave the track.


With that in mind, Ferdinand’s Ball is, as the organizer’s call it, “the only Derby event that’s all about the horses.” The ball serves to call attention to the plight of former racers, and helps raise funds for the

Old Friends Equine Retirement Facility

in Georgetown, Kentucky. The farm rescues retired racers and gives them a place to live out the rest of their lives in dignity - plenty of space to run, handlers who care about their wellbeing, and plenty of love.


If you’re interested in attending this year’s event, tickets are available at their website (linked in the first paragraph). The event starts at 8PM with a VIP cocktail hour, special guests and entertainment from the Louisville-based

Southern Sirens

. Tickets are limited, so if you’re planning on coming out to support retired racers then you’d better act fast.


See you there!

Photo courtesy of Ilovehorses.net

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Brandon Vigliarolo's picture

About Brandon Vigliarolo

Brandon is a Michigan transplant, and has been working as a freelance writer since he arrived. He lives with his Girlfriend Hannah, Pico and Marionette the cats, and Marley the awkward greyhound.

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