By: Terry Simpson
Results of the 2019 Kentucky Derby Horse Race, held in Louisville on Saturday, May 4, may have been shocking this year with the winner being disqualified for the first time in history — but a clear winner was chosen here in Tompkinsville that same morning.
Sunshine Homemaker Regina Lyons’s entry “Sunny” received top honors in the stick-horse competition at the annual Homemaker Derby Breakfast, held at the Extension office.
The voting was intense as the “viewer’s choice” was selected out of several entries from representatives of each club. While it was a tough decision, no horses were disqualified, and no appeals were made on behalf of the other entries.
In fact, the groups of local ladies of the Monroe County Homemaker clubs, got on quite well during the friendly competition, laughing and conversing over a hearty breakfast at their version of the celebrations which went on in Louisville at the Kentucky Derby Festival the previous week.
As Family and Consumer Sciences Agent Jamille Hawkins announced the winner of the stick horse contest, she laughed and told the group, “I have only been in Kentucky two years, but I found out very quickly that the Derby is very special. It only lasts two minutes, but they party all week!”
The Kentucky Derby is held annually on the first Saturday in May, following the two-week-long festival. It has run every year since 1875 with this year marking the 145th run. The attendance at the race ranks first in North America and usually surpasses the attendance of all other stake’s races.
The attendance at the local breakfast ranked right up there as well with several ladies (and a few men) at the event. This year’s breakfast featured the stick horse decoration contest, a trivia contest (won by Pat Hume) and a photo booth. Several ladies brought dishes for the breakfast ranging from edible fruit bouquets to casseroles — and of course, there were derby hats, many of them homemade.
Derby hats, a tradition that dates back to the beginning of the Kentucky Derby in the late 1800s, when women were going to church or other formal events with their “crowning glory” or their fancy hat.
Rules do not exist when it comes to the hats, but they are known as a statement piece and over the years have become a symbol of good luck at the race, and generally “the bigger the better.”
Homemaker Clubs attending the event and their representatives who won Derby glasses were Janice Short (Community); Debbie Copas (Rock Bridge), Debbie Marsh (Old Rocky Hill), Banna Burnette (Flippin), Martha Sue Murphy (Sunshine), Carol Wheeler (Gamaliel), Linda Spear (Piecemakers), Maggie Murphy (Around ‘N’ About), and Joe Miller (guest).
As the morning came to a close, Hawkins closed the ceremony by expressing her gratitude to Monroe Countians for welcoming her to this area.
“Thank you all for welcoming me and being so good to me. I didn’t know what I was doing when I came here and all of you, took me in. I love this town and everything about it, but I miss my family.”
Hawkins then told the group that she will be heading home to Georgia in just a few weeks, but noted she will never forget her time in Kentucky or the little town known as “T-ville”.
While Louisville may have boasted two weeks’ worth of partying and a two-minute world-famous horse race, to Hawkins the two years spent in Monroe and a stick horse competition over a buffet of homemade breakfast delicacies meant more to her than any fancy party, she said.
For more information on joining a Homemaker Club call the Extension office at 270-487- 5504.