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Rebecca Ray's Kentucky Derby Trip

Posted on May 06, 2014 by Rebecca | 1 comment

This weekend, Derek, Monica and I were treated to the most wonderful Southern hospitality as we attended the Kentucky Derby and the Kentucky Oaks. I thought the thrill of the year would be designing and having our Rebecca Ray Designs Bags as an Officially Licensed Bag of Derby 140, but getting to go and see the behind the scenes of the Derby was the thrill of a lifetime!! I'm still in a bit of "recovery mode", but I am so excited to share the trip with you!!

       

We started our weekend on Thursday night, when we arrived at the hotel with hundreds of other guests from all over the country - getting all of the hats in safely was quite a chore.  As you can imagine, shopping for the outfits for this weekend of activities is enough to complex anyone!

 

On Friday morning, we headed off to the track for a day of racing featuring The Oaks, a race for the top fillies that is dedicated to breast cancer research and funding.  As the sun was shining, Churchill Downs was bedecked in the most marvelous pink banners and flags. Everyone was wearing pink - it was a beautiful sea of gorgeous dresses and hats decked out in flowers and draping.  

We stood on the edge of that legendary paddock watching our friend Jill Byrne, who is Director of Programming and official handicapper of Churchill Downs, tell over a hundred thousand people about her best picks for the day.  Later that weekend, Jill was gracious enough to wear her Rebecca Ray Designs Bit Cuff that coordinated beautifully with her Derby Red dress and gorgeous hat. 

We finished the night by sitting up in the very posh Turf Room sipping Lilly drinks (a fabulous concoction that involves vodka and cranberry juice) from our commemorative glasses. 

By Saturday morning, Derby Day, I had gotten the hat wearing trick down, and we were ready to go again.  This time we were sitting in marvelous seats on the ground level of the track, a few boxes back and one furlong off of the finish wire.  

All of our lives Derek and I had horses yet neither of us had ever bet on a horse! We received a quick lesson in the lingo and learned how to place a bet- Derek seemed to pick this up very quickly!

During the afternoon, we were treated to a special tour of the Churchill Downs, which included a trip to the inside of the paddock to watch a race prepare while they saddled, bridled and said those famous words, "Riders Up!"  

 

While on the tour we also saw all of the different levels of the building and the various clubs, including the Turf Club and the President's Room, where we viewed the Derby Trophies and all of the those famous sterling Mint Julep cups up close!!

       

 

Can't wait for next year's Derby!

 

Rebecca

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The Evolution of a Rebecca Ray Bag

Posted on January 20, 2014 by Rebecca | 4 comments

Everyone always asks me where we find our inspirations for designs and the truth is, the ideas come to me at the strangest times!!  Our new Burghley Tote is an example of an "in the moment" idea.  I was riding using a bridle with web reins, and started thinking about how neat it would be to incorporate those web reins into one of our designs.  So I tucked that idea away where it sat and brewed for a while.  

Then, along came a 3-day event. Derek, Lizzie and I were trudging along through the field walking the course when Lizzie handed me one more thing to carry.  (Because, if you don't know this, Moms are like walking tote bags!) Imagine my surprise when I get to a meeting and start looking for something in my purse, only to pull out 2 American Girl dresses, 1 half eaten granola bar and a geometry homework assignment.  Anyways, I thought to myself I need a great bag to carry to a three day event that is casual and practical... hey, I can use the webbed rein detail on it!!!  

The Burghley was born. It went through several prototypes, which we all carried and tweaked. We loved it so much, we put our Rebecca Ray Designs horse on the front.  We couldn't decide between the dark leather details and the green web reins verses the chestnut leather details and the khaki web reins, so it comes in two color choices. I named it Burghley after the famed four star CCI 3-Day Event in England, one of the six leading 3-day events in the world.  It just seemed appropriate after all, that the idea was hatched on a 3-day event course!

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