The Most Exciting 2 Minutes in Sports!

The Most Exciting 2 Minutes in Sports

The Kentucky Derby is the premier thoroughbred horse race in the United States. Known as the Most Exciting 2 Minutes in Sports or the Run for the Roses, it is the first leg of the Triple Crown. The Kentucky Derby has been run every consecutive year since 1875. The horses are not the only stars of this race. This is more than a horse race.

This is steeped in Southern tradition  from the over-sized hats the ladies wear to the gallons of mint juleps that are consumed on race day.

A Little bit of History

If you are not a fan of horses or of horse racing you probably don’t understand all the fuss. But The Kentucky Derby is a Big Deal! The excitement starts 2 weeks before the actual race with the Kentucky Derby Festival. The actual race is always the first Saturday in May.

The race is restricted to 3 year old thoroughbreds who can sustain a distance of one and a quarter miles.

What is the Triple Crown?

The Kentucky Derby is the first race in the American Triple Crown and is followed by the Preakness , then the Belmont Stakes. For a horse to be a Triple Crown winner it must win all 3 races.

Traditions Pay A big Role

The Mint Julep is the traditional beverage of the race often served in an ice-frosted silver julep cup. Women appear in fine outfits lavishly accessorized with large, elaborate hats that  alone can cost $500-$2000! So much money just to have a hat like Audrey Hepburn!

The Derby is frequently referred to as “The Run for the Roses,” because a lush blanket of 554 red roses is awarded to the Kentucky Derby winner each year.

Final Thoughts and Observations

I love horses and seeing them racing down the homestretch takes my breath away. Unfortunately horse racing still remains one place where women are facing extreme discrimination. It seems counter intuitive because every girl I know loves horses and recreational riding is embraced more by women than men. Also  the weight restrictions would seem to be more typical for women than men yet the few women that have tried to break the sexual barrier have been ridiculed, harassed and heckled.  Male jockeys still outnumber Female jockeys 7 to 1! I’ll still enjoy the race but I wish more women could or would break the all male barrier.

Congratulations to Almost Dreaming and his team!

(Photo: Jerry Lai-USA TODAY Sports)

 

Jackson Falls

I may not have gotten the photo I had in mind when I drove to Jackson NH but all was not lost.

Over lunch at a local restaurant several people asked me if I’d been to the “Falls” yet. I told them no and asked where it was. Turns out, not far from the center of town at all.

So having chased the snowless sleighs around for a bit I decided to give that a rest and see if I could find Jackson Falls.

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Just after making the turn by the  Wentworth Inn ( I think that was the name) I drove up a hill.  At the top was a place to pull over . There were quite a few cars there considering it was quite cold and beginning to spit some snow flurries. It turned out to be a wedding party getting their photos done. I didn’t want to intrude so decided to drive around some more and come back in a little bit.

I completed a circle that passed lots of scenic farms and finally brought me back to the covered bridge.

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I figured that was enough time for the photo shoot to end because the bride had to be freezing but I was wrong. The bride and groom were still there. Most of the rest of the wedding party had left. Trying not to intrude I wandered downstream away from the photo shoot but when I turned to photograph the falls I couldn’t resist a shot with the bride and groom standing nearby.

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This is one of my favorites from that day’s adventures.

An Event of a Lifetime

I had my sister and me booked for an event that was billed as “The Event of a Lifetime”.

Located at the foot of the West Maui Mountains is the show Na Lio.

Promptly at 5 pm 2 shuttle buses would pull up to the front of the resort to take us to the ranch. But which resort? I still had not met our coordinator. All communication had been by phone, text or an itinerary left for me at the front desk.

I finally got an actual address but them I couldn’t find it. Driving around I spotted a post man. Surely he will know where this address is located.

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Turns out he did and the “Pink Pyramid” strikes again. The address I’d been searching for belongs to that big pink resort right next to the Ka’anapali Beach Shores! Once inside we found the ping pong tables and settled in to wait. It wasn’t long.

After being given a lei and  the courtesy photo we all climbed aboard for the short ride to the location where tables were all ready set up and waiting for us.

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After an excellent dinner the show began. Slack Key artist, George Kakumoku, Jr started the action off .

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The show is the story of horses in Hawaii.

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The story is told in song and dance (Hula)

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and with the horses. The 2nd story line is the story of young love that triumphs in the end.

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I’m not sure which was more amazing, the dancers or the horses.

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At the end of the show the riders brought their mounts to the edge of the stage and we were invited to meet them and say hello to the horses. We were given carrots to feed the horses.

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One of the horses liked my lei better than the carrots. He got a big bite of it before I could get it out of his reach. As it was just flowers there was no harm done and the rider and the others standing with me joined me in a good laugh.

Then it was back on the shuttle buses for the return to the resort.

Everybody Loves a Parade

Finally leaving the midway and rides behind we found another building we hadn’t explored.

They had a mechanical cow where you could try your hand at milking her. A stage was set up with a garden revue, animatrons that sang songs and popped up and down. Very cute.

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This was also where a chick hatchery was set up. The display held a large number of eggs which were on the verge of hatching. You could see tiny cracks form and eventually out popped a baby chick! This would have held our attention for hours if the parade hadn’t stated. Having missed out on the circus I was determined to see the parade.

The theme was Carnival like the parades in New Orleans with floats and beads.

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There were marching bands.

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And float

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after float

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after float.

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But the participant that made it all worth it for me were the Clydesdales!

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There they were in all their splendor . Manes and tails braided, feathered feet prancing high. It took my breath away! They even had their dalmatian dog with them.

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They are truly magnificent animals. The crowd’s reaction proves that they have super star status. Probably because of all the wonderful commercials Budweiser has used these animals to star in.

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Yes, seeing them up close like this made the whole trip worth it for me.

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The kids liked the beads 🙂

 

Horses

I reblogged the latest in the Connecticut Vicious Horse Case. I posted about it last fall after I heard talks about it at Equine Affaire.

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Conn Court: Are Horses Vicious? is well written and I couldn’t have made the points any better. Please take a moment to read and share.

This is truly a case where man is trying to impose his standards on an animal. Common sense has fled.  Whether an animal is inherently vicious or not, we need to respect their character and take precautions. Even big , cuddly creatures can inadvertently cause injury.

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The case began in 2006 when a boy tried to pet a horse named Scuppy at a Milford farm. The animal stuck his neck out from behind a fence and bit the child on his right cheek, ‘‘removing a large chunk of it,’’ according to court papers.

What I find interesting is that no one is blaming the parents for letting the child approach the strange horse. There were signs saying  “Do Not Pet” etc.

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This litigious society that we live in today really upsets me. No one accepts responsibility for their own actions. It’s always someone else’s fault. Shame on us. 🙁