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HRN Original Blog:
Zipse At The Track

Ferdinand’s Ball is for our Old Friends

I am happy to announce that I have just made arrangements to attend Ferdinand's Ball for the first time. I can’t imagine a better way to spend the Thursday evening before the Kentucky Derby, and here‘s why. The annual fundraiser was created in honor of the fantastic horse Ferdinand, and one hundred percent of the funds raised that night will go to benefit Old Friends. For those of you who don’t already know, Ferdinand was a beautiful chestnut colt who in 1986 won the Kentucky Derby, and the following year was named Horse of the Year. His greatness on the track was unable, however, to prevent his life from tragically ending in a Japanese slaughterhouse in 2002. To help make sure such a thing never happens again, organizers have created a wonderful fund raising event.
 
This kick-off to Derby Weekend is a unique gala that features celebrity hosts and guests, live entertainment, gourmet food and drinks, a silent auction and much more. The celebration will be held at the Frazier Museum in Downtown Louisville. Ferdinand’s Ball draws celebrities, athletes, and community leaders in Ferdinand’s honor, to raise awareness and funds, so that beloved horses like Ferdinand can live happily ever after their racing and breeding careers are over. They have chosen a great beneficiary of their fund raising efforts in Old Friends, of Georgetown, Kentucky. Old Friends is a selfless farm, run by Michael Blowen, and it also happens to be one of my favorite charities.
 
More than 20,000 visitors come to Old Friends every year to see the horses that thrilled them on the track. Old Friends is a haven for at risk racehorses (those that no longer can make their owners money.) They provide these rescued horses the dignified retirement they deserve. They also allow the horses and their many fans the opportunity to visit with each other in a peaceful and well maintained environment. Old Friends successfully promotes these celebrated horses through education and tourism, to draw attention to all retired Thoroughbreds and all equines in need. Simply stated, without Old Friends, many of these horses would no longer be with us.
 
At this time the organizers of Ferdinand’s Ball are in need of donations to insure the event’s success. There are a variety of sponsorship options, as well as, need for donations to become part of the evening’s silent auction.
 
I do not ask much from my readers, but this one is something I truly believe in. If you love the thoroughbred like I do, and are able to help in any way, please do.
 
For Questions or to become a Sponsor, please contact:
Kim Boyle: 859-462-9505, kmboyle0@gmail.com
Aimee Wulfeck: 859-250-5700, abwulfeck@insightbb.com
 
For more information on Old Friends, please visit:

 

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Older Comments about Ferdinand’s Ball is for our Old Friends...

Where is Longrun located, Ginger?
The Old Friends charity is a lot like our Longrun we have here. They both provide a loving, respectful life for retired Thoroughbreds. I can't think of anyone who deserves it more. And lets make damn good & sure as fans, horse people & life long rail birds that there will never be another tragedy like Ferdinand. One is way too many.
Gee, thanks for the great fond memory of Ferdinand Humphrey...that's awesome.
What a beautifully written article Brian. Thank you for promoting Old Friends and Ferdinand's Ball. I can assure everyone that Michael appreciates everyone's support, no matter how small. We look forward to seeing a lot of ZATT followers at the Ball!!!! And if you are ever in the vicinity of Lexington, you must stop and see Old Friends. Your heart will be touched like never before.
Always enjoyed the way Ferdinand ran. Shoe stated that as soon as he made the lead, the ears would go forward and he would begin to pull himself up so he had to time his moves very carefully. Last saw him at Claiborne in 89 tucked up and ill. He had some sort of GI distress and looked horrible as they had to put a feeding tube down his throat.

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Meet Brian Zipse 

Brian has been a passionate fan of horse racing since birth. Taken to the races at a very young age, he has been lucky enough to see all the greats in person from Secretariat and Ruffian through Rachel Alexandra and Zenyatta. Before coming to the Nation, Brian displayed his love for the sport through the development of his horse racing website, which quickly became one of the most popular blogs in the game. 
  
As Managing Editor of Horse Racing Nation, Brian authors a daily column as Zipse at the Track, or ZATT for short, and adds his editorial flare to the overall content of the website. Brian also serves on the the Board of Directors of ReRun Thoroughbred Adoption and is a Vox Populi committee member. 
  
A graduate of DePaul University, Brian lives in Suburban Chicago with his wife Candice and daughter Kendra, where he is a professional golf instructor when he is not following the horses.