Kentucky looks forward to Derby DayBy WHITLEY ARENS Opinion Editor
Derby hype is once again infiltrating Kentucky as the 135th Derby nears, staged to take place Saturday May 5 at 6:04 p.m. This horse-racing event, and first leg of the Triple Crown, is described by Seth Kochera as the “‘most exciting two minutes in sports’ and the greatest and proudest day for the Commonwealth of Kentucky.” Andy Smith added that the Derby is “more than a horse race… it shows off one of Kentucky’s treasures— Churchill Downs, and racing.” Also, Dr. Birdwhistell proudly admitted that it’s one of his favorite days of the year.
It’s an event that many in Kentucky, and around the world, look forward to all year long. It’s also an event that holds a soft spot in the hearts of many Kentuckians. Both Birdwhistell and Kochera admit to crying when “My Old Kentucky Home” is played at the beginning of the race. It’s no surprise then that many people undergo lengthy Derby preparations. They may be arranging parties for family and friends. Some may be feverishly researching horses, trying to predict a winner. Others might be stocking up on ingredients for the traditional Derby adult beverage, the Mint Julep. Perhaps ladies are busy choosing festive hats and elegant dresses. So, one might begin to wonder exactly what Georgetown College students are planning as this Derby approaches.
Some, such as Andy Smith and Becky Hellman, are just planning to relax and watch the Derby on TV. Smith has always been a fan of both checking out the race and placing a wager upon it. Hellman has always chosen the TV route where the Derby was concerned. She said, “I’ve never been to the Derby, but Derby parties are really big where I’m from. We get lots of people together to watch it on TV and take bids on the horses. It’s fun to watch, but I think it would be chaotic to be there.” Dr. Birdwhistell agrees with Hellman about the TV being the better option. He commented, “Unless you have great seats, it’s best to find a lively Derby Party with people you enjoy.” In fact, Birdwhistell is on the lookout for a good Derby party to enjoy this year.
In addition to making plans, Birdwhistell reminisces about Derby’s passed. He’s grown up with the Derby and remembers watching it on a black and white TV. Also, Birdwhistell has been to the Derby various times; the first was as a high school senior. Then he actually had seats, but he’s also been to the Derby various times in the infield with GC students. He explained: “Beginning in 1984, all the BSU/Campus Ministries groups in Kentucky would work in the Derby infield selling cokes, dogs, chips, etc. to make money for Summer Missions. We’d leave GC about 4 a.m. in a couple of vans [and] arrive at Churchill Downs at 6 a.m. before the sun came up. [We] worked all day, left about 8 p.m. [and] headed back to GC… On wet/cold days we made little; on great days we’d make about $1500. We experienced all sorts of weather, from 40 degrees to 90 degrees. It’s hard to see the race from the infield, but it was still great fun.”
Seth Kochera is also an individual that believes the Derby to be a lot of fun. He anxiously awaits the race every year and described it as, “one of the ultimate sporting events. The lady’s look spectacular in the height of fashion with their dresses and hats. You have the super wealthy in millionaires’ row and the party animals in the infield. I don’t know if there is another sporting event that brings together these kinds of people in such a close [proximity].” To celebrate, Kochera is planning his own Derby party as he does every year. He explained, “I will be hosting a party at my mother’s house. Every year I cook burgoo. It is a traditional Kentucky dish that is a type of stew.” Burgoo is, in fact, a Derby tradition along with choosing a horse to win each year. Of course, Kochera, the Derbylover and party-planner, has a prediction. “Dunkirk. I loved the sweeping move that he had in the Florida Derby. His jockey lost the race on him. Garrett Gomez gave him a bad ride. Edger Prado will put in a much better ride. I have picked two of the last three Derby winners, and my Derby horse that I missed turned out to be a two time Horse of the Year. I know my horses.”
Yes, Seth Kochera, he does know horses…just as Kentucky (and GC) knows how to prepare for the Derby.
The Equine Scholars Program is unique among those of its kindBy LAURA JOHNSON Contibuting Writer
The Georgetown Equine Scholars Program (ESP) is a treasure that attracts students from all over the United States. Combining a student’s love of horses with a career is one of the goals of this program. Unlike many other collegiate equine programs, GC is the only one of its kind in the United States. Rather than having a riding team or offering equine science degrees, the program allows students to achieve a traditional liberal arts degree and explore the horse industry in depth to see what aspects of it can best relate to their field of interest.
Located in the heart of the Bluegrass, the ESP could not have any more available opportunities. Activities include lectures, farm tours, internships and demonstrations that range from equine law to professional training to mounted police work. There is something for everyone who wants to be involved with this prosperous industry. With the 2010 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games coming next year, central Kentucky will be a booming attraction.
For more information on ESP or how to apply, contact Equine Scholars Program Director Sarah Coleman, Program Coordinator Cecilia Adams, any Equine Scholar, visit the Facebook page, or visit the website, accessible through spider.
Tigers treasure hidden traditionsBy TORI BACHMAN-JOHNSON News Editor
For the Georgetown College student, there are many traditions to take part in: Songfest, Greek Week and Grub Fest to name a few. Then there are the unspoken, underground traditions that they don’t tell you about on tours.
With the obvious lack of a night life in Georgetown, Tigers treasure Hong’s as an after-dark hang-out. Though there are several other donut shops closer to campus, Hong’s is the only one open at 2 a.m. — sometimes, if you call ahead, they’ll unlock the doors even earlier. The establishment is small, with only two tables and some chairs, but the intimate atmosphere seems to attract an assortment of customers. Sources say that the early morning hours are meant for Toyota employees working the late shift, but on the typical weekend, the main patrons of the shop are GC students. The most dedicated of Hong’s patrons even make it there on school nights.
Little known by its actual name, Donut Express, the shop gained its nickname from the owner, Hong Huynh. Some favorite menu items include “Chocolate covered donut! And a milk,” for Freshman Katelyn Harris, crumb glaze donuts for Sophomore Stephen Parker, and blueberry cake donuts for Freshman Arielle Mikell. Sophomore Ava Jordan said, “I like getting milk and a donut with crumb glaze. Those just make me happy!” Junior Tyler Frailie’s clever answer when asked what he liked to order? “Everything…twice!”
Another favorite pastime for some GC students is playing Mafia in the Chapel. On weekend nights, word spreads via text message and Facebook, and a group meets in the Student Ministry Lounge for a few rounds of the game. In this live action version of a card game, the majority of players are villagers, while a select few become the police or detectives, and the mafia. Everyone spreads out in the dark of the chapel, hiding from the mafia, who are searching for victims to “kill.” When a “dead body” is discovered, players must work together to find out who is in the mafia, before everyone is killed.
Mafia can be exciting, but another tradition tops it— everyone remembers the first time they witnessed a Boxer Run or a Fun Run. The Lambs and PHAs, respectively, are known for dashing around campus wearing next to nothing, as well as the football team. Though all the pictures of the event are too racy for the Georgetonian to publish, The noisy nighttime runs are difficult to miss. The Fun Runs usually take place at the beginning of every semester. Tyler Daniel, a freshman PHA, enjoys the Fun Runs. “It’s fun because you’re cold and you’re almost naked and all the rest of campus watches you make a fool of yourself,” he said. “It’s all about making memories.”