Today we will get acquainted with detailed information about the oldest tournament, which will soon celebrate its 150th anniversary! The annual horse race is held in Louisville on the first Saturday in May. Races are held at a distance of 2 kilometers among mounts over 3 years old.
To equalize the chances of the participants, a handicap is provided. Chargers carry an additional weight of 55 kilograms.
This event is known as one of the most spectacular, which annually attracts a huge number of spectators. The average number of visitors is over 150,000! Also, the largest TV channels provide TV broadcasting of the event. Along with this, many fans watch the event on sites that provide live streaming online.
Let’s learn about the history of the creation and development of this competition and find out what is the secret to the popularity of this event.
About Kentucky Derby
The founder of the race is Colonel Meriwether Lewis Clark Jr., who is a descendant of the famous traveler William Clark. The colonel served in England, where he got acquainted with the world of horse racing and fell in love with equestrian sport forever, being amazed by the beauty and grace of horses.
After England, he visited Paris, where equestrianism was also widely developed. There he took an active part in organizing races and became a member of the French Jockey Club.
Returning to America, Clark organized a jockey club in his hometown. Since then, the race has gained popularity and attracted an increasing number of participants and spectators.
Initially, the length of the track was 2.4 kilometers, but in 1896 it was decided to reduce the distance to 2 kilometers, which remains to this day.
The first race took place on May 17, 1875 and already at that time managed to attract the attention of 10,000 spectators.
In 1949, the first television broadcast in the United States took place. After that, the largest TV channels competed among themselves for the right to broadcast this event.
The number of viewers is constantly growing. The attendance record was set in 2017, when experts estimated more than 160,000 people from all over the world came to the racetrack in Louisville.
In 2007, the race was honored with a visit from the Queen of Great Britain, Elizabeth II, which testifies to the high status of the tournament.
Become a Part of a Great Event
The main feature of the Kentucky Derby is the variety and fascination. Racing is not the only part of the entertainment program.
The Kentucky Derby program includes:
- Trade fairs;
- Musical concerts;
- Wine tasting;
- Talent show;
- Fashion shows.
Thus, no viewer will be bored!
The most demanding visitor will find something to their liking. Such an approach to the organization of the event provides huge popularity.
Be part of the huge crowd of Kentucky Derby fans and enjoy an unforgettable show!