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    The 4th Annual Ferdinand’s Ball gala to be held at the Muhammad Ali Center
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    The 4th Annual Ferdinand’s Ball Derby gala will be held in a new venue this year at the Muhammad Ali Center located at 144 North Sixth Street on Thursday, May 2. Once again the 2013 event will benefit Old Friends Thoroughbred Retirement Facility located in Georgetown Kentucky.

    Event founders sisters Kim Boyle and Aimee Boyle Wulfeck and Old Friends founder Michael Blowen welcome guests at last year's event.

    Ferdinand’s Ball has a list of celebrity attendees each year. This year’s celebrity guests have not been announced as yet by the event’s organizers. Last year “The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills” star Brandi Ganville attended. Bonnie - Jill Laflin, NBA scout and model, Hollie Huggins, NASCAR personality and model, and Brian O’Halloran, star of 1990’s hit movie “Clerks”, all attended last year and will also be attending this year’s event.

    Celebs Bonnie-Jill Laflin and Hollie Higgens walk the red carpet at last year's event. 

    Guests will enter via the red carpet with a semi-formal affair beginning at 8 p.m. with a VIP cocktail hour for celebrity guests and sponsors. Guests will be treated to champagne and appetizers in the LeRoy Neiman Gallery on the second level of the Ali Center as well as in the outdoor Brown-Forman Pavilion next door.

    Derby hats on display last year.

    View Pointe Hall and View Point North will be the venue for the main event starting at 9 pm. This area offers great views of the Ohio River, the Belvedere, and downtown Louisville. Guests will dine on gourmet appetizers and have access to the open bar provided by Bulleit Bourbon, Tito’s Vodka, and Arabella Wines.

    Once again Louisville’s favorite cover band The Louisville Crashers will be entertaining guests with their high energy music. At last year’s event guests were up dancing to the music and having a great time.

    Guests dance away the evening to the sounds of the Louisville Crashers at last year's event.

    Equine artist Donna Bernstein will once again create another masterpiece during this event that will be auctioned off during the event, as well as Bow Ties by Dhani Jones, chairman of the Bow Tie Cause, will be available for purchase. A silent auction will take place during the event.

    Laura Bernstein with last year's artwork she rendered during the event.

    This year jockey Rosie Napravnik will be presented with the 2013 Ferdinand Award, which goes to an individual who shows an unwavering commitment to ethical horse retirement and has made a difference in the cause for Old Friends. Last year’s recipient was Jockey Kent DesOrmeaux.

    Ferdinand’s Ball was founded by sisters Kim Boyle and Aimee Boyle Wulfeck, in honor of Ferdinand, the 1986 Kentucky Derby Winner and 1987 Horse of the Year, that was sent to slaughter in Japan after his stud career ended.

    Local talk show host Terry Meiners and friends sing along with Louisville Crasher Mark Maxwell at last year's event.

    This year’s event sponsors include: Papa John’s, Denali Stud, Pure Romance, Bulleit Bourbon, Tito’s Vodka, Arabella Wines, and Nfocus, Louisville Magazine.

    Ticket packages to this event include:

    VIP cocktail hour - $500.

    Individual tickets for VIP section during the main event - $250

    Regular main event tickets - $100.

    For more information or to purchase tickets, please visit the event website here.

    I covered this event last year for and it was a great time.

    Photos: Courtesy of Anna Blanton


    Sandy Dolan's picture

    About Sandy Dolan

    Owner of Cedar Ridge Farm which operates a children's horseback riding lesson program in Greenville, IN. I have been involved with equine welfare and rescue activities. We have successfully rehomed at risk horses and retrained off the track thoroughbred racehorses in new careers in hunter/jumper, eventing, dressage, and barrel racing disciplines.

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