In 1872, Colonel Meriwether Lewis Clark, Jr., grandson of William Clark of the Lewis and Clark expedition, took a trip to England where he attended the Epsom Derby, a famous race that had been running since 1780. Inspired by his experience, Clark was determined to establish a comparable horseracing event in the United States. Two years later his uncles, John and Henry Churchill, gifted him the land needed to develop the racetrack, Churchill Downs, which opened to the public in 1875. Since that time, the Kentucky Derby has endured as America’s longest-running annual sporting event, aptly named “The Most Exciting Two Minutes in Sports.”
I’m sure Clark didn’t envision his success concerning over-the-top hats and fascinators, but by transforming the racetrack into a place for the upper class to come and socialize, it soon followed that it also became a place of high fashion. Nowadays, it is hard to think about the Derby without thinking of fancy clothes and hats. Some spectators that attend the Derby might not be familiar with the horses running in the race, but there is no question that they fully know what they will be wearing!
There are few American sporting events that have the history and popularity of the Kentucky Derby. I was overjoyed to have the opportunity to attend this year’s 143rd annual event. With the Derby falling on the same weekend as my 34th birthday, it was a great chance to mark this experience off my bucket list. Just like the 158,070 other people that came out to Churchill Downs, my crew didn’t slouch on our attire and accessories.
The timing of the Kentucky Derby also lined up perfectly with this edition of Saline County Lifestyles, because we are celebrating our 9th Anniversary by getting “Dressed to the Nines.” Our community is fortunate to have a wealth of shops and boutiques to suit everyone’s fashion desires. Men, women, and children of Saline County can shop locally for all the latest styles and trends.
One could argue that the Kentucky Derby is as much about fashion as it is about the horses. I believe that also rings true in our everyday lives. Regardless of the occasion, if you look good, you feel good! We couldn’t feel any better about our community as we celebrate the start of our tenth year in style. Your town. Your life. Your magazine.