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 Derby Princesses®                                                               Derby Queen®  

The Derby Princesses Program is a great opportunity for any talented young woman to earn scholarship monies, as well as serve as an official ambassador for the city and the Kentucky Derby Festival in the spring. Each young woman receives two $1,000 scholarships – one from The Fillies, Inc., and one from the Kentucky Derby Festival Foundation.  She also receives a complimentary wardrobe as well as other sponsor gifts.

In addition to serving as an Ambassador for over 75 events of the Kentucky Derby Festival, the Derby Queen Ambassador and the Derby Princesses Program is very busy donating their time throughout the community.  They volunteer their time to help with organizing many fund raising events held by local charities, Derby related Dinners, Derby related Ball Dances, they enjoy visiting with residents of nursing homes, read books to classes during their visits to local schools, assist in providing meals for the homeless and interact with the children attending events held by charitable organizations.  They also help with the Parade and they educate others about The Fillies and the Derby Festival.

Applicants must be a single, female resident of Kentucky or the metropolitan area, including Clark, Floyd and Harrison counties of Indiana, and full-time, second year undergraduate student attending a University, College or an Accredited Professional School for the full current academic year, with a minimum accumulative GPA of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale.  Verification is required from the School Registrar's Office.  Candidates must also be poised, outstanding in the community and 18 years old on or before December 31.  Contact the Vice President of the Fillies, Inc., at filliesvp@gmail.com with any questions.

Since 1957, past Derby Queens and Princesses have been making an impression on their community. They include Martha Layne Collins, Kentucky’s first woman Governor, and a number of other community leaders. The Fillies are honored to continue to produce the Derby Princesses Program in conjunction with the Kentucky Derby Festival.

The Derby Queen is a member of the Derby Princesses Program.  Since every one of the Derby Princesses is just as accomplished as the next, the only fair way to choose the Derby Queen is by the traditional spin of the Wheel by the President of The Fillies at the annual Fillies Derby Ball.

January 6, 2020. Louisville, KY. – The countdown to the 2020 Kentucky Derby Festival is on, as new Derby Festival Royalty were crowned this morning. The five women selected to serve as Princesses in the 2020 Kentucky Derby Festival Royal Court were introduced in a ceremony at Macy’s in Oxmoor Center. The Royal Court Program is coordinated by The Fillies, Inc., a volunteer group that works closely with the Festival. Fillies President Susan Moore joined KDF President and CEO Matt Gibson, as well as 2020 Derby Festival Chair Judy Hess, in crowning the newly appointed court. They are:

Giavanna (Gia) Combs of Louisville, KYDerby Queen® Gia, 22-years-old, is a junior at the University of Louisville majoring in psychology with a minor in Pan-African Studies. She is a Woodford R. Porter Scholar, Denny Crum Scholar, and a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated. She also participated in the medical companion program with the Louisville Veterans Affairs Hospital.  Gia was crowned Derby Queen® at our Derby Princess Coronation ceremony on April 16, 2021.

Hannah Maria Edelen of Springfield, KY – Hannah, 22-years-old, is a senior at Northern Kentucky University dual majoring in History and Communication Studies with a minor in Organizational Leadership and Honors. She was the 2018-2019 Student Body President, has served as a Henry Clay Scholar on Capitol Hill, and is currently serving as the NKU Inaugural Presidential Fellow. Hannah is a first-generation college student, member of Kappa Delta Sorority, a 2020 Teach for America Corp Member, and supports her personal initiative “Read Ready Kentucky”.

Leah Hazelwood of Lebanon, KY – Leah, 21-years-old, is a sophomore at the University of Louisville dual majoring in Political Science and Liberal Studies with concentrations in Race & Gender Studies, Global Public Health, and Economics. She is a McConnell Scholar, a Harvard Kennedy Public Policy Leadership Scholar, the College of Arts and Sciences Vice President, a member of Chi Omega Sorority, and is a “children’s advocate” for the Center for Women and Families.

Molly Jett of Louisville, KY—Molly, 22-years-old, is a senior at Bellarmine University double majoring in Communication and Design, Art, and Technology. Before completing her journalism internship abroad in Shanghai, China, she was a public affairs intern for the Kentucky Association of Counties. Molly is also a Bellarmine University Women’s Council Scholar, member of Phi Mu Sorority, former WHAS11 News intern, and active volunteer at the Kentucky Refugee Ministries (KRM).

Hannah Robb of Louisville, KY – Hannah, 21-years-old, is a junior at Bellarmine University studying Business Administration and Marketing. She is a first-generation college student and business woman. She hopes to continue her work with the Department of Veterans Affairs and the Toys for Tots organization as a local volunteer coordinator.

Two alternates were also chosen – Grace Rahman of Lexington, KY, a University of Louisville Post-Baccalaureate Student entering med school in the fall, was chosen as first alternate. Abigail Frazier, of Whitesburg, KY, a Senior at the University of Kentucky, was chosen as the second alternate. They will become Princesses if one of the other women is unable to serve.

These five young ladies will act as ambassadors for the 2020 Kentucky Derby Festival, attending nearly 70 events over a two-week period. They were selected Saturday, January 4, after attending final judging with 30 other finalist candidates. There were nearly 100 original applicants for the Royal Court Program, representing different colleges and universities from around Kentucky and the region. All the applicants went through preliminary judging in November.

One of the five will be crowned the Derby Festival Queen by a spin-of-the-wheel at the annual Fillies Derby Ball on April 4 at The Galt House. Each woman will receive a $2000 scholarship ($1000 from the Fillies and $1000 from the Kentucky Derby Festival Foundation).


The Fillies

P.O. Box 221588 · Louisville, Kentucky, 40252-1588


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