Friday, May 17, 2013

Kentucky Derby 2013

Back when I was in high school I participated in FFA (Future Farmers of America for all you non-small towners). My senior year I got to attend the FFA National Convention which happened to be in Louisville. Churchill Downs hosted FFA at the Downs Day, and ever since that exact moment I have been t-totally hooked on horse racing.

In the spring we usually made at least 1 trip down to Hot Springs for the horse races, but going to Churchill Downs was the experience of experiences for horse enthusiasts such as myself. $2 bets + horses = Avery in a very happy and cheap state.

Anyway, I desperately wanted to go to the Kentucky Derby this year, but I think we ended up having a better time right here in Midland, Texas, watching with friends. One of my girlfriends (Kelli) met her husband while going to graduate school about 30 minutes from Louisville, so she was instrumental in helping me figure out how to throw a real ol' fashioned Derby party.

Kelli and her twin for the day Todd in matching blue seersucker
 Tip #1: Seersucker is always in in the South.

Bethany and Whitney: both OSU grads poking people
 Tip #2: Have friends who all have connections. (I don't know if that's a real tip. But it was fun that every couple we invited all had a connection even though a few had never met.)

Cash and Matt
Tip #3: Have a bartender who is willing to go pick mint out of a friend's garden the day of the Derby just to have mint juleps for the afternoon. True story.

Bethany, Elizabeth, Kelli, myself, and Whitney
 Tip #4: Wear big hats.

Elizabeth and Kelli finding out they were in the same sorority
 Tip #5: Very similar to Tip #2...have friends who find out they were in the same sorority at different colleges.

mint julep making king

Run for the Roses
 Tip #6: Remember. This is the Run for the Roses. Decorate with roses.

Point made about the roses

Todd and his sweet, gorgeous wife Elizabeth
Tip #7: Invite people who are not only fun but also ecstatic about dressing up for the Derby.

Tip #8: Have lots of biscuits, ham, derby pie, dips, bourbon balls, mint juleps, and sweet tea; you can never go wrong with sweet tea.

Big Winners!
 Tip #9: Definitely have a contest during the race. This leads to all sorts of chanting and excitement. (Unless you live in oil country where everyone had a horse but secretly rooted for Frac Daddy so all of America would cheer for fracking. We REALLLLYYYY wanted Frac Daddy in the front.) Regardless, Matt was the big winner of a bottle of bourbon. He wasn't too upset. :)

Todd and Whitney: the big winners!
Tip #10: Have a best dressed contest. (And make sure you don't make Todd take pictures with every woman there. I just realized this. hahahaha)

A co-worker and I were discussing the Derby the week after, and he couldn't get over how silly it was to him that people spend all this money on 2 minutes of racing. Oh, my heart broke. Everything about growing up in the South, dressing like a lady/gentleman, drinking sweet tea like your momma made, watching horses and trainers and jockeys alike...all those things come together in one big event that in my heart of hearts cannot be topped by any other major sporting event.

To me the Kentucky Derby epitomizes the South. And frankly, I love the South.

And of course I love competition, winning, and gambling just a little bit.

Now it's off to the preakness and belmont. Until then...


Avery Jane


  1. I love this!! I've always wanted to attend the Kentucky Derby but I might have to throw a party like this until I can actually make it there! :)

  2. Sorry to put this in the comments but I responded to your comment via email and it bounced back, but wanted to make sure you saw it:

    Sorry for the delay -

    So glad you all are making a trip to DC. You will LOVE being there, especially that time of year. Make sure you contact either Senator Cornyn or Senator Cruz's office and have them schedule some tours for you. If you're there on a Tuesday ( I think it's Tuesday, maybe Thursday ) see if they're having their weekly constituent breakfast. I think they call their's Texas Tuesday/Thursday. It's a free event open to all TX constituents and you can have a photo made with them.

    You'll have a GREAT time!!! Can't wait to hear all about it.