Halters of three Kentucky Derby winners in auction

Photo by Bobby Shiflet

Photo by Bobby Shiflet

A trio of halters worn by the past three winners of the Kentucky Derby—California Chrome, American Pharoah, and Nyquist — will be sold as part of “Champions for a Cause,” an online auction that opens Oct. 12 at 6:00 p.m. ET to benefit The Hopeful Farm Foundation, a Kentucky non-profit dedicated to supporting families impacted by special needs. The auction ends November 11th (some items are buy-it-now!).

The halters, framed together in a one of a kind offering, were generously donated by Taylor Made Farm, Coolmore’s Ashford Stud, and Team O’Neill. Each is accompanied by a letter of authenticity provided by the respective connections. The auction can be viewed at http://www.32auctions.com/HopefulFarm.

The custom shadow box, provided by Frames On Main of Paris, Ky., features American Pharoah’s halter in the center with a photo donated by Bobby Shiflet. After taking the Kentucky Derby in 2015 for Zayat Stables and Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert, the brilliant bay went on to become the first Triple Crown winner in 37 years, and ended his career with a Breeders’ Cup Classic win to complete horse racing’s first “Grand Slam.”

To the left of the Triple Crown winner’s halter is one worn by 2014 Derby winner California Chrome, now the world’s richest racehorse, with a photo donated by Laura Donnell. California Chrome took his next step toward a run in the Nov. 5 Breeders’ Cup Classic with a victory in the Oct. 1 Awesome Again Stakes at Santa Anita Park for trainer Art Sherman; his perfect 6-for-6 season this year includes a Dubai World Cup win.

To the right of American Pharoah’s halter is the halter worn by 2016 Derby winner Nyquist, the 2-year-old champion of 2015 trained by Doug O’Neill, with a photo donated by Skip Dickstein. Nyquist will meet California Chrome with a run in the Breeders’ Cup Classic Nov. 5 at Santa Anita Park.

The shadow box is made of mahogany with linseed and tung oil. It measures 41 1/4 inches wide, 23 inches tall, and 4 1/4 inches deep.

Also included in the online auction are several pieces of racing memorabilia from remarkable runners such as two-time Horse of the Year Wise Dan (a shoe), champion Tepin (a baseball cap), and Breeders’ Cup Classic winner Fort Larned (a set of four shoes). Artist Rickelle Nelson has generously donated several original pencil sketches of subjects including Belmont Stakes winner Union Rags, Horse of the Year Rachel Alexandra, champion War Emblem, Kentucky Derby winners Animal Kingdom and Orb, and grade I winner Bodemeister.

The proceeds of this auction will go to Hopeful Farm’s respite program, which provides weekend retreats to parents of children with special needs.

The Hopeful Farm Foundation is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit dedicated to supporting and strengthening families impacted by special needs—enhancing the quality of life for individuals with special needs and offering rejuvenation and resources to those who love and care for them.