The 2022 Kentucky Derby
Timing is everything
Here in the UK we have the Derby at Epsom, the Cheltenham Cup and the Grand National. We have as much of an affinity with all things equestrian as we do with dogs. It is an endless love affair that at times becomes competitive. Timekeeping after all, is at the core of the event. Just looking back over the past three winners, you can see how close the winning times have been. In 2021 Mandaloun crossed the line in 2:01.02, in 2022 Authentic in 2:00.60 and Country House 2:03.08. So who is responsible for the timekeeping on the day? A quick glimpse at the finish line will give it away - you can't miss the giant Longines Conquest.
The official watch of the Kentucky Derby is the Conquest V.H.P. (Very High Precision) collection. The watch is a nod to an original model introduced in 1984, but its history really goes back to 1954, when the the brand’s first quartz watch set a precision record at the Neuchâtel Observatory competitions for accuracy, and was used in the Chronocinégines, a machine it later used to time horse racing. In 1984, a version of this highly accurate quartz calibre appeared in the first Conquest V.H.P., setting another precision record at the time.
This Saturday an elite group of jockeys and horses will race in the 148th Kentucky Derby and 150,000 people will watch the greatest 2 minutes of sport! As the oldest continuous sporting event in the United States, managing to carry on through the Great Depression, both World Wars, and the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, the race tells a storied past of both Southern and American culture. The race begins with the crowd singing along to "My Old Kentucky Home," and ends with the winner receiving red roses, which have been the official flower of the race since 1904. Betting has topped $150 million over the past few years, and people wait in anticipation for the next Triple Crown winner, the last being Justify in 2018. Settle down and enjoy the buzz this weekend!