Another side of the Derby

The Kentucky Derby can conjure up plenty of beautiful images. The roses, the majesty of the event itself, the extravagant hats and gentleman suits, the beautiful women. Of course, that’s just what you see on television. A lesser shown angle of the Derby comes from the infield, or namely, the third turn of the infield where complete drunkeness is the norm and more than a few attendees lose their clothing in the process.

The man pictured above sprawled on the ground decided it was a good idea to run across the top of a row of portable outdoor toilets. Hundreds in attendance thought it was a good idea to hurl heavy objects, such as full cans of beer, at the man when they spotted him and although the guy almost made it all the way, one onlooker’s toss hit its mark, smashing into his head and knocking him from his perch much to the delight of most watching on. Of course, like many moments of intoxication, the fun came to a screeching halt when the man didn’t move after landing on his head. Here, a Louisville Police officer calls for a medic. The man later regained consciousness but was carried away in a neck brace and backboard. The famous call of “And they’re off!” was still hours away from being uttered.

ON A SIDE NOTE: Officers several times attempted to prevent me from photographing this. I was carrying only one camera, a point-and-shoot Canon amateur digital camera. One officer threatened to take it if I shot another photo. Of course, that’s simply ridiculous behavior and I told the officer I was only documenting what was happening and didn’t mean any offense. It’s odd to me that while one man created havoc by making a very poor decision, and hundreds more made regrettable decisions to say the least, officers thought the fact that someone would take a photograph of all of this was among the “offenses” they should concern themselves with. Oh well. I did what I do, and they did what they do.

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