Since 1875, the Kentucky Derby has been a prestigious competition of speed and class in the United States. The Kentucky Derby makes for an amazing event to witness the elegance and thrill of horse racing and is known today as one of the largest races in the world, with viewings reaching up to 158 000 in 2017. This event takes place on the first weekend of May in Louisville, Kentucky, each year. It is preceded by a two-week Kentucky Derby Festival that can be attended by participants, spectators and visitors alike to celebrate this crowd favourite horse racing tradition. With a rich heritage, it is a highly anticipated event each May.

2 minutes to make history

The race itself lasts for a mere two minutes and is 2km. Only 3-year-old thoroughbreds may be entered with weight specifications of 57kg for colts and gelding, while fillies must weigh 55kg. Considering that the Derby was established by William Clark’s grandson, it is no surprise that the socially elite such as multi millionaires and debutantes are among those who attend and make use of the event as an opportunity to network with like minded people. The Derby, as with most of horse races around the world, also makes for a prime opportunity to parade the latest fashions and styles both during the event and throughout the festival. However, the event is not restricted to those of established status. Thousands attend the race to witness what has been a hot topic in the industry for over a century and continues to uphold its status.

“The Run for The Roses”

The race is often referred to as “The Run for The Roses” since the winner is enveloped in a blanket of 554 roses to officiate their achievement. Other traditions that are still practiced to this day include the drink called mint julep which is enjoyed by spectators, along with a stew-like meal called burgoo which is served each year. The festival, which begins two weeks before the race, consists of fireworks, an airshow and other festivities in preparation for the Derby. It is common for viewers and supporters to place bets on their predicted winners before the time, which is another practice found among races worldwide. Anyone interested in the world of horse racing or already a passionate follower will know the significance of the Kentucky Derby and the role it plays in the industry.