Derby Museum display chronicles Kentucky Guard's "Unbridled Service"

dwa

Story by Pfc. Brandy Mort, 133rd Mobile Public Affairs Detachment

IMG_0019

Maj.Gen. Edward Tonini, adjutant general for Kentucky, prepares to cut the ribbon at the opening of a “Kentucky National Guard” display at Church Hill Downs Museum. (Photo by Sgt. Bryan Ploughe, 1st Battalion, 623rd Field Artillery, Kentucky National Guard)

LOUISVILLE, KY. (May 7, 2011) – With two cuts of the red ribbon the Kentucky Derby Museum opened the Kentucky National Guard Exhibit at 10 a.m. on Saturday, May 7th.

Kentucky Army and Air National Guard members have been contributing to the success of the Kentucky Derby for approximately 100 years. Since 1933 Guard Members have received payment for their actions, according to John Trowbridge, command historian for the Kentucky National Guard.

IMG_0029

Maj. Gen. Edward Tonini (right) and John Trowbridge (left) at the opening of a “Kentucky National Guard” display at Church Hill Downs Museum. (Photo by Sgt. Bryan Ploughe, 1st Battalion, 623rd Field Artillery, Kentucky National Guard)

“The Kentucky Derby has had a lasting effect on members of the Kentucky National Guard, said Trowbridge, “Just like the Kentucky National Guard has had a lasting effect on the Kentucky Derby.”

In order to honor the continuous effort of the KYNG, Trowbridge teamed up with with Chris Goodlett, curator of collections for the Kentucky Derby Museum, and Brenda Keifer, coordinator of exhibits for the Kentucky Derby Museum, to make an exhibit to display the Guard’s involvement in the Kentucky Derby.  Maj. Gen. Edward W. Tonini, adjutant general for Kentucky, presided over the opening ceremony.

“There is a glorious history between Churchill Downs’ Kentucky Derby and the Kentucky National Guard,” said Tonini, “Including the year that a smoke bomb was thrown onto the stretch of the track.   A Kentucky Guard Member saved the day.”

The exhibit showcases a variety of uniforms, photographs and other memorabilia to showcase the relationship between the two over the years.

“The Kentucky Derby is a special time to honor members of the Kentucky National Guard as well as Service Members in general,” said Kevin Flanery, President of Churchill Downs.  “Guard Members make the Derby special, not just for the state, but for the entire country.”

IMG_0122

Spc. James Farris provides security and assists Chris Goodlett, Kentucky Derby Museum curator, with the placement of the solid gold trophy cup at the winners circle in preparation for the ending of the running of the 137th running of the Kentucky Derby. The Guard has been part of the Derby tradition for nearly 100 years. (Photo by Sgt. Bryan Ploughe, 1st Battalion, 623rd Field Artillery, Kentucky National Guard)

###

About kentuckyguard