Are you into horse racing? Then surely you have heard of one of the most prized and sought after races called the Kentucky Derby. The Kentucky Derby has a beautiful and long history filled with pure and decorated tradition!
My Old Kentucky Home
Before the horses step their hoofs on the track, they start by singing the old Kentucky home song.This tradition was started in 1921 during the 47th running of the classic. The story of the song gives a sense of pride after a Kentuckian horse (Behave Yourself) won the derby.
This was started by Col. Meriwether Lewis Clark Jr. whom was the founder of the Kentucky Derby. It was known as a place of high importance and people who were rich attended which meant high fashion because who doesn’t want to show off right? Horse racing had a bad rep because of the drinking and gambling which was tied with low morals so, Col. Meriwether embarked on his journey to change that. They had 10,000 spectators in attendance at the first Kentucky Derby in 1875. Women would coordinate their hats, dresses, bags and shoes thus beginning the trend of wearing big fancy and expensive hats.
The garland of roses
The roses were first brought on to the scene when all the ladies went to a high end Derby Party. The roses were a huge hit! When the President of Churchill downs Col. Lewis Clark, got word he made the rose the official race flower. The rose garland would make it’s big appearance in 1896 after Ben Brush, won the Kentucky Derby and received an arrangement of flowers with pink and white roses.
The Kentucky Derby Trophy
This is one of the most sought after prizes in sports history! The trophy is made of 14 and 18-karat gold and is presented to the winner of the race. It’s not sure when the first trophy was given out, but it has been noted that the trophy has been given to the winner every year since 1924. The trophy has an 18-karat horse and jockey with hoofed shaped handles. It stands 22 inches tall and weighs approximately 56 ounces not including the base. It is noted that most of the trophy is 14 karat gold and some is made up of 14 karat green gold.
The start of Gonzo Journalism
Gonzo journalism is a first person writing which goes against the regular journalistic features. The journalist or reporter is included in the story as well. Hunter S. Thompson (The creator of this style), went to the 1970 Kentucky Derby and was able to hang out in the high middle infield. In order to meet his deadlines for the newspaper he worked for He took sheets of paper from his notebook and submitted them one by one, calling the write up “the Kentucky Derby is Decadent and Depraved.” Thus the beginning of Gonzo journalism.