The Word Derby
Fans of horse racing will likely have heard the term “derby” before. It is commonly used in the sport. This word has a rich and lesser-known history behind it. The name comes from the Derby Stakes, which were run at the Downs Racecourse located in Epsom, UK. The name also has links to Edward Smith-Stanley, who was the Earl of Derby during the 18th century. He originally inaugurated this particular horse race back in the year 1780.
The word derby has now grown to signify horse races that use these animals, as long as they are aged up to three years old. In Hong Kong, however, this can go up to four. Another derby in Canada races “aged pacers,” which have to be at least four years old and up.
The US Derby
One of the most well-known races of this type is the Kentucky Derby in the United States. This event is associated with the alcoholic cocktail called a mint julep. The bourbon-based mixture is a combination of sugar, ice, water and mint.
When people come to the derby, they are able to buy mint juleps from the various bars found there. This is undoubtedly by far the most popular drink during the event. In more recent years there have been different variations of the traditional cocktail. For instance, a “jingle bell julep” incorporates cherries, raspberries and macerated strawberries.
The UK Derby
One of the most famous English horse races is known as the Road to Cheltenham. This is a series of events for British and Irish horses at the highest class level. There are seven races in total. The current Road to Cheltenham sponsor is Unibet, an online casino. It allows users to place bets on this sport.
This event culminates in the Champion Hurdle. This is an important date in the horse racing calendar. The hurdle takes place during the lauded Cheltenham Festival. Visitors are prohibited from bringing in their own alcohol. They can, however, purchase up to four drinks at a time at the festival bars. This is because they operate a policy of responsible drinking.
It seems likely that in the future most horse racing events will have similar policies. There have unfortunately been several high profile news stories concerning alcohol linked anti-social behaviour. By restricting the amount of booze available, these event venues will be able to guarantee that patrons drink in moderation.