Standing Ovation by Ovation Riding: The Make-A-Wish Foundation

Each Friday, Horse Nation teams up with Ovation Riding to spotlight an individual or organization doing good work in the horse world. Today, we’re honoring Make-A-Wish of Kentucky, Ohio and Indiana.

This week’s honoree:

Wish Kid Destiny with Winning Jockey

Make-A-Wish Kentucky, Ohio and Indiana for its annual fundraiser at Keeneland

Keeneland Race Course, in partnership with local Thoroughbred farms and equine facilities, hosted Make-A-Wish Day at Keeneland on Thursday, October 8, 2015. The annual event raised funds to grant the wishes of Kentucky kids who are battling life-threatening medical conditions. There are currently 150 children in the state who are waiting for their one true wish to come true. The average cost of a wish is around $8,000 and wishes are granted entirely through the generous support of the community.

Among the attendees of Make-A-Wish Day at Keeneland were nine local children who have experienced the power of a wish come true. Keeneland and the Thoroughbred industry have teamed up to host the event since 2008, granting more than 60 wishes to date.  Several local farms and equine medical facilities sponsor the participating wish kids.

Keeneland Horse at Make-A-Wish Day at Keeneland

As guests of honor, the wish families spent the morning touring their sponsor’s property, enjoyed a VIP lunch in the Phoenix Room, met the Keeneland jockeys in the paddock, watched their sponsor’s race from the winner’s circle, and, at the end of each race, the wish kids presented the trophy for the race named after their sponsor.

The 2015 event raised just over $74,500 to help grant more wishes for kids throughout Kentucky – thanks in large part to Keeneland and the sponsoring farms and equine hospitals. That will mean nearly 70 wishes granted since Make-A-Wish Day at Keeneland began in 2008.

Make-A-Wish Race 8 10-08-15Keeneland

Michelle Anderson, mom of wish kid Anna, age four, of Lexington, said “To be able to come to Keeneland after going to Walt Disney World Resort for Anna’s wish is like the cherry on the cake for us. It’s a chance for us to celebrate and give back. We were hit with Anna’s cancer and a rare neurological condition two years ago and it’s something you never imagine happening to your child. She has come a long way in that time. This is a magical day.”

Cathy Predmore, Vice President of Marketing and Communications at Make-A-Wish Ohio, Kentucky & Indiana added, “Make-A-Wish Day at Keeneland can be a transformational day for our kids when you see the joy in their faces and they see the horses and they see the races and they get to present the trophy to the winner. That in itself is pretty cool for anybody, but for a child that’s been fighting a life threatening medical condition, it brings them such hope and happiness and that’s really what we’re all about.”

Make-A-Wish Race 4 10-08-15Keeneland

About Make-A-Wish® Ohio, Kentucky and Indian

Make-A-Wish® Ohio, Kentucky and Indiana grants the wishes of children with life-threatening medical conditions to enrich the human experience with hope, strength and joy. Currently, there are more than 150 children in Kentucky waiting for their wish to come true. You can help share the power of a wish by making a donation, volunteering, or referring a child. For more information, visit our website at or call 1-877-206-9474.

About Keeneland

For more than 75 years, the Keeneland Association has devoted itself to the health and vibrancy of the Thoroughbred industry. As the world’s largest Thoroughbred auction company, Keeneland conducts sales every January, September and November. Its sales graduates dominate racing across the globe at every level. In April and October, Keeneland offers some of the highest caliber and richest Thoroughbred racing in the world. In 2015, Keeneland will host the Breeders’ Cup World Championships on Oct. 30-31. Uniquely structured, Keeneland is a private, for-profit corporation that returns its earnings back to the industry and the community in the form of higher purses, as well as millions of dollars in charitable contributions for education, research and health and human services throughout Central Kentucky. To learn more about Keeneland, visit us online at

Edited from a press release.

Make-A-Wish Race 4 10-08-15Keeneland

Many thanks thanks to Ovation Riding for their support of both Horse Nation and individuals and organizations that are doing good work in the horse world. If you know someone who deserves a Standing Ovation, we would love to recognize them in a future post. Email the name of the person or organization along with a message about the good work they do to [email protected]. Photos/videos are always welcome, and include a link to their website if applicable.

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