The Kentucky Derby
Every year on a fine May morning in Louisville, the Panama hat makes its appearance in droves at the biggest hat event of the year, the Kentucky Derby. The Kentucky Derby is as much about hats as it is about horses. Hats with flowers, flamboyant hats, fedoras, fascinators, and best of all: Panamas. For centuries, gents have preferred the Panama hat for style and sun protection. There's just something about a Panama straw hat, light seersucker, and a gin and tonic that perfectly cool the cheering crowds in the sunny grandstands of Churchill Downs.
The Kentucky Derby awarded Panador the first official license to produce 2011 and 2012 Kentucky Derby Limited Edition Panama hats, jaunty hats with the highest quality weave and an exquisite finish made especially for the Kentucky Derby. Panador Hats are the official Panama hats of the 137th and 138th Kentucky Derby and Kentucky Oaks.
The Epsom Derby and Glorious Goodwood
No other sporting event brings out fashion like thoroughbred horse racing. In 1906, when King Edward VII attended the Glorious Goodwood, he discarded formal dress in favor of linen and a Panama hat - forever changing the face of Goodwood Racecourse, which has been the site of quintessential English summer fashion ever since. At the Epsom Derby, the Derby's British counterpart, people have traded morning tails and top hats for the pure summer chic of a Panama, although in the Queen's stand formal morning dress with a top hat is only proper.
The Kentucky Oaks
The pre-Derby Kentucky Oaks incorporates hats, horses, and another issue close to our heart: cancer awareness and research. The Kentucky Oaks is the traditional pre-Derby event that has become one of the country's largest fundraisers for women's health issues, having raised more than $420,000 for cancer research over a 3-year period. Panama hats are as popular as ever at this 1 1/8 mile companion race for 3-year-old fillies, but you'll notice one bright difference.
During "Pink Out" day at the Oaks, spectators dress in pink from top to toe. Including Pink Panama hats, which were a natural for Panador founder Walter Pieper, who as a stage four cancer survivor himself looks for ways to support cancer research.