Thursday, April 08, 2010

Kentucky Derby Factoid:

The Garland of Roses that cloak the winning Derby horse hold an interesting history. Roses first appeared on the radar when they were presented to all the ladies attending a glamorous Louisville Derby party, held by a New York socialite and attended by the President of Churchill Downs, Colonel Lewis Clark. The roses were such a phenomenon that Clark adopted the rose as the race’s official flower. The rose garland first appeared at the Derby in the 1896 when the winner received a floral arrangement of pink and white roses. In 1904, the red rose was chosen as the official flower of the Kentucky Derby.

Each year, a garland of more than 400 red roses is sewn into a green satin backing with the seal of the Commonwealth on one side and the twin spires and number of the running on the other end of the garland. Each garland is also adorned with a “Crown” of roses, ribbon and green fern. The “Crown,” is a single rose pointing upward in the center of the garland, to symbolize the struggle and heart necessary to reach the winners’ circle.

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