Wednesday, August 20, 2014

The Kentucky Derby Galloped Onto Winter Park

On May 3rd "Derby on Park" was held at the Winter Park Country Club (761 Old England Avenue Winter Park FL.) Event organizer, Anthony Dinova, invited me out to sketch the event. This was on the same day as the Kentucky Derby so women came out with their finest wide brimmed hats. I decided to sketch the well heeled crowd waiting outside for food. Several golfers were using the putting green when I started blocking in the sketch but they left when it started drizzling. Inside there was live music, wine and of course the Kentucky Derby was on TV.

The exciting ambiance of the well-renowned annual Kentucky Derby was brought to Winter Park. This themed event boasted unlimited craft beer and wine along with samplings of delicious food and desserts from various local vendors for all in attendance. Guests were encouraged to dress in their finest Derby attire with prizes for best-dressed in several categories. With a complimentary private-labeled bottle of wine for each guest, live broadcast of the Kentucky Derby, Fashion show and live entertainment, the prestige and energy of this coveted signature event provided guests with the most sophisticated and stylish afternoon outside of Churchill Downs.

As I worked on the sketch I heard the crowd inside start to cheer as the race started. The roar grew louder until the horses crossed the finish line. Terry was inside to catch all the action. There was a small retaining wall at the edge of the putting green and people used it as a bench to sit while sipping their mint juleps.  A women who came outside to get away from the claustrophobic crowd inside sat on the ledge and then unexpectedly fainted. Luckily she fell back onto the soft grass rather than forward onto the brick patio. She was revived by her friends and event organizers called the fire department and EMTs to check her vitals. She hadn't been drinking so she couldn't figure out why she fainted.

With the sketch done I went inside to spend time with Terry and to grab a bite to eat. A new batch of pasta was being warmed up and I waited for a bit. The crowd thinned out fast after the race but Terry and I stayed to see who won the best bonnet award. One woman had a huge bouquet of flowers on her bonnet and I was surprised that she didn't win. Perhaps connections are more important than flourish.

Prints are available for each sketch for $250 and many originals can be purchased for $400. White museum grade shadow box frames are $100 more. You can e-mail Thor at

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