Governor Steve Beshear and First Lady Jane Beshear today unveiled the 2012 Governor’s Commemorative Derby poster. This year’s poster features a photograph by John Stephen Hockensmith, in which he captures the undefeated thoroughbred Barbaro as he rounds Churchill Downs’ first turn on his way to winning the 2006 Kentucky Derby.
“We are honored to continue this time-honored tradition of unveiling the commemorative Derby poster,” said Gov. Beshear. “This artwork exemplifies the excitement and enthusiasm that surrounds the greatest two minutes in sports and serves as a wonderful memento for the public.”
Barbaro’s 2006 Derby margin of victory was the biggest since Triple Crown winner Assault won in 1946. Following his impressive victory, Barbaro was the strong favorite going into the Preakness. But after breaking prematurely from the starting gate, Barbaro suffered catastrophic injuries in his right hind leg, causing him to pull up quickly when the race was re-started. The following day, Barbaro underwent surgery and battled to overcome ensuing complications after the operation. The public followed Barbaro’s battle to survive for more than eight months until his team of veterinarians and owners concluded that he could not be saved.
“Barbaro is one of the most beloved thoroughbreds in racing history – not just for his victories, but for his heroic struggles after his Preakness injury,” said Mrs. Beshear. “John Stephen Hockensmith’s photograph truly highlights the Derby champion at the top his game, and this year’s poster is a beautiful keepsake for Barbaro fans and all racing enthusiasts.”
A portion of the proceeds from the Governor’s Derby poster sales will benefit First Lady Jane Beshear’s Horses and Hope Program and the Equine Health and Welfare Alliance Inc. Horses and Hope provides breast cancer education, awareness, screening and treatment referral to uninsured and underinsured employees of Kentucky’s thoroughbred industry. The Equine Health and Welfare Alliance Inc. directly supports efforts addressing equine health and safety in Kentucky.
The 2012 poster is $15 and will be available for purchase Derby morning at the Governor’s Derby Celebration in downtown Frankfort. The poster is also available now for purchase online at Historic Properties Online Store.
You are invited…
Earlier this month, Governor and Mrs. Beshear announced that the 76th annual Governor’s Derby Celebration will be held in historic downtown Frankfort for the second year in a row. This year’s celebration will be held on Kentucky Derby Day, Saturday, May 5 from 9 a.m. – 1 p.m. Eastern time and is free and open to the public.
Information on the Governor’s Derby Celebration, including an electronic invitation, a downloadable version of the Governor’s Derby poster, and more is available at http://governor.ky.gov/derbycelebration/. The website will be updated as more information on the celebration is released.
Louisville.com's The Arena section features opinions from active participants in the city's politics. Their viewpoints are not those of Louisville.com (a website is an inanimate object and, as such, has no opinions). The Arena is read by more people in Louisville than in any other city in America. Photo credits: Office of Kentucky Governor, Churchill Downs, Thomas McAdam (photo of Governor and First Lady).