Longines, Official Watch of the Kentucky Derby, Awards the Winning Owner, Trainer and Jockey of I’ll Have Another with Timepieces from the Saint-Imier Collection.
Longines, the Swiss watchmaker, was the Official Watch and Timekeeper of the 138th annual Ken- tucky Derby at Churchill Downs. As the Official Timekeeper of the Derby, Longines had a strong presence at Churchill Downs and other Derby affiliated events.
Chronograph watches from the new Longines Saint-Imier Collection, named after the company’s birthplace, were ce remoniously awarded to I’ll Have Another’s winning owner J. Paul Reddam, trainer Doug O’Neill, and jockey Mario Gu- tierrez by Jennifer Judkins, U.S. Brand President for Longines, and Juan-Carlos Capelli, Vice President and Head of Inter- national Marketing for Longines at the exclusive Winner’s Party on Saturday, May 5th to celebrate the “timely” victory of 2:01:83 by the triumphant thoroughbred.
Commemorating its 180th anniversary, Longines, and the 138-year-old Kentucky Derby joined forces to celebrate their iconic history and rich tradition. Longines was repre- sented by longtime brand ambassadors and tennis legends Andre Agassi and Stefanie Graf throughout the course of the multi-day event. Luxury clocks and timepieces were placed throughout the Churchill Downs facility both on the racetrack and surrounding areas, including the new digital chronometer placed next to the finish line that displayed the race timing. As a way to count down the seconds to the “The Most Exciting Two Minutes in Sports,” a digital “Longines Kentucky Derby Countdown Clock” was also dis- played on Churchill Downs’ official event website (www. KentuckyDerby.com), along with one greeting the crowds at the Churchill Downs Store in Louisville International Airport.
“Equestrian sports are Longines’ passion, so we are de- lighted to be, for the second year, the Official Timekeeper of America’s greatest and most traditional horse race,” said Longines President Walter Von Kanel. “This partnership tru- ly represents a perfect match with the brand’s image and philosophy stated in its slogan: Elegance is an attitude.”
In keeping with their elegant attitude Longines asked local fashionistas to walk the pink carpet as the brand presented the Longines Kentucky Oaks Fashion Contest during Ken- tucky Oaks Day on Friday, May 4th. Women in attendance at Churchill Downs entered the contest for the chance to win a newly launched Longines Saint-Imier watch in stainless steel and rose gold with diamonds, along with an all-expense-paid VIP trip to New York City for Fall Fashion Week. Valerie Sexton, of Buffalo, NY took home the grand prize with her winning ensemble.
Judging the festivities on the watch-inspired runway was a group of stylish celebrities including tennis legend Stefanie Graf, celebrity fashion stylist Jeannie Mai and “E! News” correspondent Catt Sadler. The judges chose the winner based on which contestant best incorporated the Kentucky Derby’s elegant style into their fashion-forward attire. With Kentucky Oaks Day being rooted in philanthropy, Churchill Downs donated $1 to the breast cancer charity Stand Up To Cancer for every person in attendance. To further celebrate the cause, women were encouraged to proudly incorporate the color pink into their Kentucky Oaks ensembles.
Longines watches were also displayed at the delectable Taste of Derby event on Thursday, May 3rd. The Taste of Derby featured famous chefs from around the country of- fering tastings of their best dishes from their esteemed res- taurants. Hosted by Iron Chef Cat Cora and judged by fellow chefs Kent Rathbun and Brian Malarkey, Longines timed the countdown for the best burger. Partial proceeds from this event benefited hunger relief organizations across the country.
To join the festivities for the weekend, Longines and Andre Agassi hosted two lucky Kentucky Derby trip winners, from his Grand Slam charity event held in Las Vegas last fall.