Week of May 3rd Through May 9th
May 3, 1952 - The Kentucky Derby first received nation-wide television coverage. The Derby is held annually
on the first Saturday in May at Churchill Downs in Louisville, Kentucky.
The first Kentucky Derby was held on May 17, 1875. The field for that race
consisted of fifteen horses, though today the field has been increased to
twenty horses. The race, open only to three year-old Thoroughbreds, is over a
distance of 1.25 miles and is the first leg of the Triple Crown.
Information courtesy of http://www.buzzle.com/articles/brief-history-of-the-kentucky-derby....
Photo courtesy of http://bluegrasstours.com/derby-2010
May 4, 2003 - Idaho Gem, the first clone born in the horse family, was born today. Gem was cloned by the University of Idaho
and was handled by students of the University for the first portion of his
life. Mule clone Utah Pioneer was born on June 9th, 2003, and Idaho Star was
born on July 27, 2003. The three clones are essentially triplets, as they all
carry genetic material from the same mule skin cells. Two of the mules, Idaho
Gem and Idaho Star, entered into training to be raced. Racing the two mules
will serve as a test of the clones’ DNA and athletic ability.
Information courtesy of http://www.thehorse.com/ViewArticle.aspx?ID=5742
Photo courtesy of http://www.biotechnologyonline.gov.au/popups/img_idahogem.html
May 8, 1936 – Jockey Ralph Neves was declared dead after a racing accident, yet went on to ride again. Neves was nineteen at the time and
was riding at Bay Meadows Racecourse in California.
The mare he was riding, Fannikins, tripped and crashed through a wooden fence.
Fannikins fell on Neves and he was trampled by four other horses. At a hospital
Neves was given a shot of adrenaline as one last shot, but he did not
immediately respond. Neves did arise again, though, and traveled back to the
racecourse, begging the stewards to let him ride the rest of his races. He
wasn’t permitted to ride that day, though he won five winners the day after.
Neves would go on to ride for another 28 years and was indicted into the
National Museum of Racing’s Hall of Fame in 1960. In 1995, Neves died in his
sleep. He was 79.
Information courtesy of http://www.ultimatehorsesite.com/info/news/news_deadjockey.html
Photo courtesy of http://www.washingtonthoroughbred.com/WaTbStats/HallofFame_Jockeys.htm