Churchill Downs has their hats, pies, and mint juleps, and we cannot begin to compete with those.  However, we have our own fashion statements, such as the dual raincoats, where the full length slicker is worn under the waist length oilskin.  Look for this to become a red-hot sensation on the runway circuit.  I feel comfortable that our brownies rival the derby pies.  Having never had a mint julep, that I recall anyway, I cannot make a fair statement; but I will say that after a few hours in the saddle, the tea was very welcome and satisfying.  So, our Derby Day ride was quite an event of it’s own kind.

We had a field of five, actually ten I guess, depending on how we count.  Laura / Toasty, Bee / Pep (Pocket Pep), Debra / Royal, Debra / Clem, and me / Sir Winston.  Yes, that’s correct 3 Debs.  Toasty wins the Gatekeeper award.  Her impressive gate skills were much appreciated, by all I’m sure, and REALLY by me.  Royal takes Best Looking, no contest.  As the day progressed, he finished with the prize even thru the ‘pretty is as pretty does’ rule.  He was a true gentleman and it was a great pleasure to have his company.  Pep wins the Band-Aid award as he was ‘stuck on Clem’ for the duration.  He was going for the ‘Pep in your Pocket’ prize, but Debra couldn’t get his picture.  The light was no good in her pocket.  Clem is of course Athlete of the Day.  She is diligently training for the Olympics.  Her ‘grazing gait’ is the best I’ve seen, ever.  Winston wins the Fraidy-Cat ribbon.  Who knew a duster was so dangerous.

The namesake goes to chamomile as it was plentiful, and I learned how to identify it, including how to distinguish it from sweet clover.  I learned what a delightful scent it has, although I could only smell it when I had it in my hand.  The leaves of the sweet clover are tiny, but roundy like white clover.  The leaves of chamomile are light, ferny, feathery and not at all roundy.  The blooms of chamomile never really open to a flower.  They stay as more of a bud form, just get real yellow.  Thanks to our resident Wildlife Biologist for sharing her expertise.

We started out with a light mist which picked up to a heavy mist, then dwindled away completely.  It was overcast all the time we were riding so the weather was very comfortable.  We meandered mostly along the farm road.  Took a few excursions, but between new fence and my pathetic memory, we didn’t find any looping trails.  Still good riding.  I was not the Timekeeper today, but I think we departed about 900a and returned about 1245p.  The BBQ was delicious.  Laura and Debra didn’t stay for lunch; their loss.  They had other obligations to attend.  After lunch we loaded and headed home.  Oh yes, for the record, Winston was a breeze to catch this morning!!!

Blessed be God, my Mountain.  Thanks for the safety and delight of riding today.

My pics are here.  If / when Debra sends me the pics she took I’ll add them to the album and do an update post.

If you were one of the lucky ones who participated today, feel free to add your input in a comment.