A pony in the parking lot adorned with red roses and a crowd of eager guests sporting large derby hats, awaiting the hat contest and race, greeted patrons as they arrived to participate in the 5th Annual Kentucky Derby Party at the Blue Star in downtown Vero Beach, benefitting the Special Equestrians of the Treasure Coast.
Outside, Special Equestrian volunteers and students helped to collect money by hosting a Horse of the Year contest with information and pictures for each horse the organization owns and allowed guests to take photos with Elsa, the pony; donations were gladly accepted. Inside customers ordered signature cocktails and delightful derby dishes with 10% of all proceeds for the entire night going to the horse therapy non-profit.
With over 20 participants, this was the biggest hat contest yet. Contestants were judged by three local celebrities that helped to keep the contest fair, but also add some extra excitement in both print and social media; a much needed contribution to any event. Prizes included gift cards ranging from $100 to $25 dollars to dine at the Blue Star and bottles of wine along with vintage derby glasses.
This event was the most successful collaboration effort to date for The Special Equestrians of the Treasure Coast and Blue Star raising nearly $3500. With that in mind, the planning committee is excited to make next year’s event even more successful with a full derby buffet, race shown on a big projector, hat contest categories, bigger raffles and more so save the date for Saturday, May 6th as it promises to not disappoint.