Tale of a journey to the KENTUCKY DERBY~

Re-posting one of my favorite post...

Flying through Louisville during Derby reminds me of the way flying used to be...People all dressed up with hat boxes in tow and a smile on their faces. But then I quickly forget the thought as I realize I have so many hat boxes to store and so little space. But something about the hat boxes puts a smile on my face. I wonder what's the color and the shape? Is it Red and Racy? Does it have Feathers or Flowers? Is it French Couture or more Plain Jane?

But this Tale is about more then
Beautiful Derby Hats...

this is the Tale of

Heber (my grandfather) & Rex Ellsworth, Mesach Tenney
and Reed Ellsworth

and a Horse
that won the KENTUCKY DERBY!
With $850 in savings from their $50 a week jobs, two cowboys Rex and Reed Ellsworth rented an old truck and left for the 1933 Fasig-Tipton Sales in Lexington, Kentucky. They bought 6 mares and 2 weanlings for $600. Rex became a powerhouse in California racing! In 1946 he borrowed $160,000 to buy a stallion from Aly Khan. From this stallion came Swaps.

In 1955 Rex sent Swaps to Louisville by rail with trainer Mesach Tenney in the same boxcar. Tenney even stayed with Swaps in his stall at Churchill Downs.

And as FAIRY TALES end, SWAPS and jockey Willie Shoemaker won the 1955 KENTUCKY DERBY... all because of a big dream and some hardworking cowpokes from a small town in Arizona.

Dreams can come true!


mb said...

Definitely red and racy! And history repeated itself - a cowboy won yesterday.

Neat story - thanks for sharing! And I can relate to those hat boxes, I've flown in and out of SDF before and after the Derby a few times. Almost seen a few fights by ladies thinking their hats were going to be squashed.

Lara Dunston said...

Oh I love that post - very cute idea. And love images of those hats too!

I've finally added you to my blogroll too - apologies for the delay - flat out finishing up some books and life is a bit crazy.

Enjoyed catching up on you today!

Stacy said...

Loved the hats ... and of course seeing Swaps race ... have never seen that video before. I MUST make it to the Kentucky Derby in a big hat. It's one of my "kick the bucket" items!!!

Carol F. said...

I must have a mint julep right away! All these Mesa names: Ellsworth, Tenney, Shoemaker. I had no idea you had a Kentucky Derby win in your ancestry! That is so cool. And yes, the cowboy won this year, too. So fantastic. I never get as excited about any sport as I did about the Kentucky Derby this year. I must begin planning my hat.

dutchbaby said...

Are those all your hats? Beautiful! I loved the video clip too.

When you have a chance, I'd like to invite you over to dutchbaby. We are having a small party there and I have a surprise waiting for you.

Susie of Arabia said...

I love your intro with those crazy cool hats - and then the old story about the Kentucky Derby - really interesting! And that you have a connection to it like that is tre' cool!!!

where'veyoubeen said...

Cute post!

Thanks for the comment, I did train on layovers. It was hard but I somehow found time and energy. I found a training program from runnersworld.com and tweaked it. :)

Postcards and Coasters said...

mb... the thought of women fighting over hats is kinda funny! Wish I could have been there for that.

Carol... a mint julep does sound nice. Especially on such a hot day like today!

Cate said...

Love these hats and the story, really original.Would't mind one of those hats myself, but don't think I could fly one of them.