In 1896, Ben Bush was the first Kentucky Derby rider who was covered with the Garland of Roses. The rose garland is made with pink and white roses at that time.  But, only in 1904, the red rose become the Kentucky Derby’s official flower.  The 22 inche width and 122 inches long, and around 40 pounds weight of this Garland of Roses is considered as a work of art. The center and the upwards pointing rose in a crown are considered as a winning spirit, a struggle and heart that are required to win the race.
In 1987, since the 113th Kentucky Derby, Kroger had taken the responsibility of creating the most beautiful and impressive and world’s best flower arrangements.  The Roses were shipped from Ecuador and Colombian farms, and over 7,000 Red Roses were thoroughly sorted orderly and before 462 beautiful Roses were sewn on a green color satin cloth supported by Middletown Kroger on Friday Evening.
The Delivery Center Manger of Kroger, Carol Belser said that it is his privilege to take part of this project as he has participated in the arrangement since it started. He said, it took a lot of hours and manpower, and people who put so much effort in this floral arrange did it with heart and they loved every minute.  On Friday thousands of people came to Middletown Kroger to watch their team members contemplated over the ultimate 2,000 roses, and they removed the loose petals and they selected the best flowers.
It is a tradition that the winning filly or colt Kentucky Derby at the Churchill Downs receives the bigger garland of roses. The trainers and the owners raise the shining trophies above the horse heads and the jockeys  carry a big bouquet to the winner’s podium among  cheers, patting and congratulation and the winner horse is covered with the Red Roses, this actually started back in 1896.  But, the tradition was started only after 1925 and since then it is continuing.
Col. Lewis Clark, the president of Churchill Downs approved the rose as the official flower of the race.  The Kentucky Derby official considers that the roses were first founded as a part of KD celebration, and the roses were given to the ladies who attended the trendy Louisville Derby party.
First, the Kroger made the flower arrangement with pink and white flowers, since than the pink and white flowers were presented to the winner of the race. In 1925, the tradition has increased and it is adding up extra fanfare when the former Churchill Downs President and Columnist Bill Corum said the idiom “Run for the Roses” in reference to the Triple Crown series annual opener.
The Kroger said that is a privilege for them to take part in this event and added that it is a tribute to take part in the Kentucky Derby tradition and creating the rose garland for the winner. It is not an easy task, it is important to pick the right color and bloom, and the florists had to sort each and every rose, about 7,000 red roses and make a perfect bunch. He said, it takes around 7 hours to sew the roses on the green satin cloth.

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