Monday, May 04, 2009

Kentucky Derby - Mini Recap

At least physically speaking, I have returned home from experiencing the Kentucky Derby; I am completely floored and totally exhausted. What an incredible experience to see a 135-year-old tradition up close like that! I am grateful to BlogHer (where I'm posting Derby recaps today, tomorrow and Wednesday) for making this happen. The whole thing re-cemented my love for the South, hats and horses.

My recap of the actual Derby race is here but suffice to say, it was an exciting surprise. There's a lesson in here somewhere ... Never underestimate the underdog? Or the underhorse? Don't over look the long shots? Calvin Borel has turbo-charged underwear?

Either way, he and his 50-1 steed, Mine That Bird, came from dead last to clinch the Run for the Roses. I've never heard so much screaming, followed by so much confusion. People were stunned; there was much cursing and only a handful of victory shrieks.

Ah, yes. The humans. Imagine a sea (attendance: 153,563) of extremely well-dressed happy drunk people all in one place. It was a photographer's dream - everyone was on display and therefore, highly approachable.

Even though legal clearance for public photography is printed on the back of one's Derby ticket, I did usually ask people before I snapped their faces. Only two women turned me down but most were thrilled. "Of course!" they'd say, then strike a pose

Most had gone to great effort to look photogenic so they were quite accommodating when I started bossing them around: "Okay, can you come outside where the light is better? Okay, now stand here. No, keep the drink up. Now turn your head so I can see the hat feathers, okay? Great! Smile big!" It was like having thousands of interesting models at my disposal. HEAVEN.

Yeah, so running around shooting is the fun part but the editing, tagging, captioning and organizing part? Not so much. That is what I'm doing all day today on just four hours sleep. If you want to take a peek, visit my Flickr stream but I'll be updating and organizing all day and hope to get it finished by sundown. I'll repost here with more photos and stories too in the coming days.

In the meantime, please enjoy one of my favorite shots from the Briar Rose Party in nearby Shelbyville. I call it "Seth Myers and His Human Kindle." Enjoy!

6 comments:

Susie said...

I have such a crush on Seth Myers!!! And this is such a cute picture!!!

So glad you had a blast at the Derby. After Eight Belles' horrible death last year I just can't watch it anymore. I'm so grateful that you didn't have to see anything like that.

I'm a big fan of racing but I love horses more and the "sport" has become a real quandry for me. I know you have even more big horse love than I do - it's excellent that it was a good day for all involved.

hotdrwife said...

Hmmm, there were a LOT of horseshoes abounding. INDEED, indeed.

Can't wait to catch up again! Misses ya.

hotdrwife said...

Oh, and my grandpa had some racehorses in the 80s - remind me to show you the horseshoe I have upstairs sometime. The win at Sunland was big time to us (and then someone stole his horse!)

Kath said...

Whoa...what is up with that chick's back?

(Ok, that was totally off topic, but geesh!)

You looked lovely in your dress and chapeau. I think you need to go Derbying every year. I say we all start a 'Send Heather To Derby' fund so you CAN go every year.

You ok with that?

ClizBiz said...

Susie: Yeah, I understand the conflicted feelings but I understand it a lot more now. Looks like the drugs, steroids and supplements are getting more under control (this is the first year they were banned at the Derby) but the weird breeding still poses a problem.

HDW: That sucks your grandpa's winning horse got stolen.

Kath: Hey, I'm all for being a charity case.

Heidi's heart said...

Wow, Heather, you are so blessed to have had this experience!