In the late 1800’s ladies were given a red rose at a fashionable Louisville Derby party, resulting in the flower’s adoption as part of what race’s official logo?
The Kentucky Derby Trophy is a set of four trophies that are awarded to the winning connections of America’s most famous race: the grade one $2,000,000 Kentucky Derby.
The trophy itself has been run for since the 50th running of the Kentucky Derby in 1924. Churchill Downs Race Course of Louisville, Kentucky has annually presented a gold trophy to the winning owner of the famed “Run for the Roses.”
The use of roses was first established as part of the Derby celebration when they were presented to all the ladies attending a fashionable Louisville Derby party in 1883. The roses were such a sensation, that the president of Churchill Downs, Colonel Lewis Clark, adopted the rose as the race’s official flower. The rose garland now synonymous with the Kentucky Derby first appeared in the 1896 when the winner, Ben Brush, received a floral arrangement of white and pink roses.
The “Crown,” a single rose pointing upward in the center of the garland, symbolizes the struggle and heart necessary to reach the winners’ circle.