Peyton Siva serves as celebrity host of annual fundraiser
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (May 6, 2013) — About 400 people attended last week’s Kentucky Derby gala Ferdinand’s Ball, which benefited Old Friends, a retirement facility for retired Thoroughbreds in Georgetown, Ky.
The event featured a silent auction and entertainment by the Louisville Crashers.
In attendance to show their support of retired Thoroughbreds were UofL men’s basketball champions, both past and present.
Peyton Siva, a player for the 2013 National Champion Louisville Cardinals, served as celebrity host of the gala.
Founded in 2003 by former Boston Globe film critic Michael Blowen, Old Friends cares for more than 130 horses across three states, most of them stallions whose racing and breeding careers have come to an end. By promoting these one-time celebrated horses through a campaign of education and tourism, the facility hopes to raise awareness of all equines in need.
A “living history museum of horse racing,” the farm attracts nearly 20,000 tourists each year that get up close and personal with such stars of the turf as Breeders’ Cup Champion Gulch, Eclipse-Award winner Sunshine Forever, Whitney Handicap Winner Commentator, millionaire gelding Arson Squad, and … the losing-est horse in the history of racing, Zippy Chippy.
The center receives no government funding; it subsists on donations, grants, revenue from its gift shop and private support.
Ferdinand’s Ball is an annual fundraiser created in honor of 1986 Kentucky Derby winner Ferdinand. Each year, the gala is a kick-off to Derby weekend festivities.