Members of 2015 Kentucky Derby Festival Royal Court announced - News, Weather & Sports

Members of 2015 Kentucky Derby Festival Royal Court announced

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - The Kentucky Derby Festival introduced the five women who will serve as princesses in KDF's 2015 Royal Court on Monday.

The Derby Festival's Royal Court Program is coordinated by The Fillies, Inc., a volunteer group that works closely with the festival. Fillies President Suanne Sanders joined KDF President and CEO Mike Berry and the 2015 Derby Festival Chair Trish Osborn in crowning the newly appointed court at Macy's in Oxmoor Center.

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The five Kentucky Derby Festival Princesses for 2015 are: 

  • Kathryn (Katy) Ashby of Hanson, KY - Katy is a junior at the University of Louisville majoring in mechanical engineering. She is a James Graham Brown Fellow, the Speed School Student Body Vice President and has almost completed her private pilot license.
  • Madison Evans of Louisville - Madison is a junior at Georgetown College where she is majoring in psychology. She is a Norton Healthcare Scholar, student abroad with Athena Abroad Program and plans to attend nursing school in the future.
  • Kyle Hornback of Louisville - Kyle is a freshman at the University of Louisville majoring in political science. She serves as an ambassador for Brain Injury Alliance of Kentucky, is a Task Force freshman at UofL and is a jazz and ballet dancer.
  • Sophie Knight of Lexington, KY - Sophie is a senior at the University of Louisville majoring in marketing. She is a Vogt Scholar, has been named to the Dean's List for seven consecutive semesters and is fluent in Italian. 
  • Briana Lathon of Louisville - Briana is a senior at Centre College majoring in politics. She is a New Horizon scholar, has studied abroad in France and Ghana and plans to attend law school upon graduating from Centre.  
Two alternates were also chosen:

  • Makenzie King of La Grange, KY was chosen as the first alternate.
  • Danielle Dorsey of Louisville was chosen as the second alternate.
They will become princesses of one of the other women is unable to serve.

The five princesses will serve as ambassadors for the 2015 Kentucky Derby Festival and attend nearly 70 events over a two-week period. Thirty women were selected as finalists out of the more than 100 original applicants for the five princess positions, and all of them attended the final juding on Sunday, January 11. None of them knew in advance who had been selected.

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One of the five women will be crowned the Kentucky Derby Festival Queen by a spin of the wheel at the annual Fillies Derby Ball on April 17 at the Galt House Hotel. Each woman will receive a $2,000 scholarship with $1,000 of the money coming from the Fillies and the other $1,000 coming from the Kentucky Derby Festival Foundation.

Candidates for the Princess Program must maintain a minimun 3.0 grade-point average and are selected by a panel of three out-of-state judges. Criteria for selection includes knowledge of the Kentucky Derby Festival, poise, intelligence, personality and campus and community involvement.

The first Derby Festival princess was crowned in 1957, the second year of the festival. Previous princesses have included former Kentucky Governor Martha Layne Collins and Gail Gorski, the first female pilot ever hired by United Airlines.

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