Kentucky Derby Trophy

The Kentucky Derby Gold Cup is a gold trophy, with a rich history. The trophy is awarded to the winning horse’s owner every year; it is made from a combination of 20 and 14 carat gold and weighs more than 100 ounces. Smaller sterling versions are also presented to the winning trainer, jockey and breeder.

The first idea of a Kentucky Derby “trophy” was not addressed until 1922, when a six-piece gold buffet service was awarded to Ben Block, (the owner of the winning horse Morvich). Included in this service was a pair of candlesticks and a loving cup. In 1923, when Zev won the Derby, his owners were presented with the first version of the trophy. Black Gold, the 1924 winner, was presented with the “Golden Jubilee Trophy”, which is the current design standard of the award given to the horse owner today.

The Kentucky Derby Gold Cup is one of the few solid gold trophies still awarded in any American sporting event. It is created from a brick of 14 carat gold, adorned with 20 carat gold accents. This trophy takes more than three months to produce. Over the past 80 years, there have been slight variations to the design: diamonds were added to the horseshoe to celebrate the 75th running with Ponder. For the 125th trophy, rubies, diamonds and emeralds were added. 1999 also marked the year that the horseshoe, which adorns the front of the trophy, was also changed from facing downwards to upwards to signify good luck.