Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation originally planned to host a watch party for this year’s Kentucky Derby, but, due to COVID-19, those plans fell through. However, local and area racing aficionados can still have fun — and possibly even win a grand prize — by showing their love for the sport of horse racing.
From now until the starting time of the actual race at 2 p.m. Saturday, the “Virtual Kentucky Derby” is giving fans a series of crafts, activities and challenges they can complete at home and earn points by documenting their progress and then emailing their proof to the FMWR Installation Wide Events Office.
“We knew we couldn’t hold an event with a lot of people gathered inside, so we wanted to do something virtually,” explained LoraLee Neubeck with Installation Wide Events. “We thought, ‘what can we do to make something interactive, fun and also make it a challenge?’”
Participants can earn points for completing each of the following activities:
— Hat contest: Participants will receive 7 points for constructing their own derby hat or “fascinator” head decoration, taking a picture of it being worn and emailing the photo to FMWR.
“If you’ve ever watched the Kentucky Derby, many of the attendees decorate their hats — even the guys,” Neubeck said. “A lot of women wear the big hats with big flowers, which they call ‘fascinators.’ We even have instructions on the FMWR website to show people how to make their own fascinators.”
— Best Derby Attire contest: Participants will receive 6 points for dressing up in their best race-day duds and sending in a photo.
“It’s a best-dressed kind of thing,” Neubeck said.
— Name Your Horse contest: Participants will receive 3 points for coming up with their own, unique name for a race horse.
— Guessing games: Participants can earn up to 3 points for correctly guessing three questions worth one point each: 1. How long will it take to sing the national anthem? 2. What will the winner’s finishing time be? and 3. Which horse will finish first and which will be last?
Participants can also earn up to two additional bonus points by making one of three “Derby Recipes” listed on the FMWR website and/or playing a game of horseshoes and sending in photos. Horseshoes games can be rented from the Outdoor Adventure Center by calling 573.596.4223 for more details.
All submissions should be emailed to: firstname.lastname@example.org with the participant’s last name and the phrase “@ Kentucky Derby” in the subject line.
Neubeck said participants can include all their photos in one email or send separate emails.
“As long as they put in their last name and ‘@Kentucky Derby’ on each email, I can track it,” she said.
She said the participant with the most points will receive a grand prize, which is being kept secret for now.
“Don’t ask me what the prize is,” she said. “We will contact the winner and have them claim their prize. We’ll announce the winner on Tuesday.”
The contest is free and open to the Fort Leonard Wood community. Those who submit photos for the contests agree to allow FMWR to use their materials and likenesses online, on social media or other platforms.
For more information, visit leonardwood.armymwr.com or call the Installation Wide Events office at 573.596.6913.