Thousands of people sashay into Churchill Downs on the first Saturday in May, and the horses garner most of attention. But between races many folks will be checking out the headgear, and I speak not of the jockeys helmets. No, it is the flamboyant hats, worn by the female attendees that catches the eye.
But why hats ? According to The Derby website it dates back to the first ‘Run For The Roses’ in 1875, when the tradition was started by the races founder Col. Meriwether Lewis Clark, Jr. who modeled the Kentucky Derby after high class European racing events. So all the Southern Belles had another reason besides going to church to don their fancy hats.
Choosing a Derby Hat has no boundaries. When southern culture met with British pomposity, decorum took a holiday. So ladies, as The Derby nears, use your imagination and let your freak hat fly !