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Running of the Roses: Celebrating the Kentucky Derby


Every year on the first Saturday in May, stylish visitors flock to Churchill Downs in Louisville, Kentucky, to watch thoroughbred horses compete in the Kentucky Derby. This year, a brilliant spring day drew a record-breaking crowd of more than 170,000 to watch American Pharoah win the 141st running of the event.

Known as "The Most Exciting Two Minutes in Sports" for its approximate duration, the race takes place along 1¼ miles of racetrack, while upstairs in the grandstand, thoroughbred owners wear feathered fascinators and sip mint juleps in box seats known as Millionaires Row.

The age-old hat tradition goes back to England and the running of the Epsom, which the Kentucky Derby was patterned after. The hat tradition was used by the race’s promoters to market the derby to women and to make it a “see-and-be-seen event.”

And see and be seen they were!

Mary Ella Gabler poses in her black and leopard hat at the Kentucky Derby Mary Ella and Jonathan Bitzer in Lexington for the Kentucky Derby

Some of our favorite people partook of the hat tradition! Pictured above is Peacock Alley Founder Mary Ella Gabler.

While in Kentucky, Mary Ella was the house guest of friend and local retailer, Mary Ginnochio of  Mulberry & Lime.

Two lovely ladies all dolled up for the Kentucky Derby in red and black florals

Joanna Clark, VP of Development for Community Partners of Dallas, looked lovely as well! Take a look at some of our other stylish favorites:

A woman wearing a bright pink hat with a large bow A woman wearing a black and cream hat with long pheasant feathers A woman in yellow wears an elaborate feathered hat for the Kentucky Derby Nichole Whelan in a red hat with blue feathers for the Kentucky Derby        

Until next year, Derby watchers!

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