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Fundraiser Celebrates 150th Kentucky Derby on Saturday, May 4  Proceeds Benefit Spirit Ride Therapeutic Riding Center

Fundraiser Celebrates 150th Kentucky Derby on Saturday, May 4 Proceeds Benefit Spirit Ride Therapeutic Riding Center

“An Evening of Fun… with a Purpose!”

Fundraiser Celebrates 150th Kentucky Derby on Saturday,

May 4 Proceeds Benefit Spirit Ride Therapeutic Riding Center


BOONE, NC - The Hidden Hills Equestrian Center in nearby Valle Crucis is hosting a unique Kentucky Derby-themed fundraiser from 4 to 8 p.m. on Saturday, May 4, 2024, in conjunction with the sesquicentennial of horse racing’s major event of the year: The Kentucky Derby. All proceeds benefit Sprit Ride Therapeutic Riding Center so that they may continue providing therapeutic services at no cost to families who participate in their various programs.

Guests are treated to live music and fun raffles while participating in both silent and live auctions. There is a friendly competition in the “Best Hat” and “Best Dressed Couple” contest as partygoers excitedly bet and debate about their favorite horses prior to viewing the legendary “Run for the Roses” during this year’s 150th Kentucky Derby.

“It’s the best Derby Day Party this side of Kentucky!” promise event organizers, who note that participants leave feeling good about giving to a local non-profit with a huge heart.

In addition to the traditional mint juleps, libations include mocktails, craft beer from Lost Province Brewing Company, wine from Banner Elk Winery, and even a Bourbon pull while guests are treated to sumptuous food provided by Gadabouts Catering. Live music is courtesy of “The Gravel ‘n Grit Band.” Admission and “Derby Dollar” ticket packages begin at $100 (a portion of which is tax-deductible) at with auction information available online at

Spirit Ride Therapeutic Riding Center specializes in providing Equine Assisted Services to a diverse group of children with various diagnoses, collaborating with the child's educator, therapist, and/or physician to set and reach specific goals. Every one-on-one session is tailored to meet the individual needs of each rider, and clients are never charged a fee. As a 501-(c)-3 non-profit organization, Spirit Ride is dedicated to making a positive impact on the lives of those they serve.

“Our mission for this event goes beyond mere fundraising,” said Saskia van de Gevel, a Spirit Ride mother and the auction chair for this year’s event. “We are ensuring that vital services remain accessible to families like ours. Your support directly impacts children like my son, Luke, who has flourished under Spirit Ride’s Equine Assisted program for seven years. Their profound impact on our family is immeasurable, igniting within us a passion to give back and advocate for its invaluable mission.”

Lacey Costner adds, "The Derby Fundraiser is a way for Spirit Ride parents, like me, to share our child’s journey through equine assisted therapy and the impact Spirit Ride has made in our lives with the community.” Costner’s role in the fundraising efforts, “is a way for me to give back to the organization that does so much for our family. Spirit Ride is just as special as our children and the Derby Party is a perfect way to showcase the organization."

"The Spirit Ride Derby is an evening of fun with a purpose,” said volunteer Wendy Livingston. “Spirit Ride gives hope, confidence, and opportunities for children that may not happen otherwise."

The Hidden Hills Equestrian Center is located at 2130 Broadstone Road in Banner Elk, NC 28604; more specific information can be found on their website at For details about the therapeutic riding center, visit This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..