Kentucky Derby Festival crowns 2023 Royal Court
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - The Kentucky Derby Festival introduced the members of the 2023 Royal Court on Monday morning.
The members were selected from nearly 100 applicants and will attend nearly every festival event, starting with Festival Unveiled Presented by Four Roses Bourbon on March 16, KDF said.
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Hayley Benson, 21, from Louisville, is a junior Biology major at the University of Louisville. Benson is studying to join the medical field. She is a Woodford R. Porter scholar, a scholar in the Louis Stokes Alliances for Minority Participation, a recipient of the Humana Foundation scholarship program and a member of the Alpha Kappa Alpha sorority.
Lauren Carter, 22, from Lexington, is a senior at the University of Kentucky and is double majoring in management and marketing. She is studying to go into law. Porter is a Merit scholar, the vice president of the Order of Omega Leadership and Honors fraternity and has received the Girl Scouts bronze and silver awards.
Mallory Hudson, 21, from Bowling Green, is a junior at the University of Kentucky majoring in communications and minoring in political science. Hudson is the reigning Miss Bowling Green and has served as an ambassador for Jovani Fashion. She is also the founder of Inclusive Stages, providing theatrical experiences for individuals with special needs.
Mahshad Taheri, 21, from Louisville, is a senior at the University of Louisville majoring in finance. Taheri is a Jones scholar, a Summer Health Professions Education Program scholar, a scholar in the Louis Stokes Alliances for Minority Participation and founder of the Middle Eastern North African Student Organization. Taheri also volunteers for Kentucky Refugee Ministries and serves as a college mentor for kids.
Valerie Tran, 22, from Louisville, is a senior majoring in industrial engineering at the University of Louisville. She is the executive director of Raise Red Dance Marathon, co-founder of The Homeland Project, a Vogt scholar, a member of Ki Omega sorority and has been named Volunteer of the Year by UofL.
Two alternates were also selected for the 2023 Royal Court. Brooke Barry of Eminence, a sophomore at the University of Kentucky, and Arushi Gupta of Louisville, a senior at the University of Louisville, will step in to the Royal Court if one of the members are unable to serve.
Each Royal Court member will receive two $1,000 scholarships, one from The Fillies, Inc. and one from the Kentucky Derby Festival Foundation.
An additional $1,000 scholarship was presented to the Royal Court on Monday from Reily Foods Company, one of the Kentucky Derby Festival’s sponsors.
The first Derby Festival Princess was crowned back in 1957, according to KDF.
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