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DP’s Kentucky Derby Gift Guide

We’re celebrating the 150th year of this iconic race with gifts for your favorite thoroughbred.

Fierceness might be the favorite this year, but who can resist a bet on Forever Young? The Kentucky Derby, celebrating its 150th year on May 4th, is as high on excitement, tradition, and style as ever—which means it draws in spectators from the actually equestrian to the fairweather fascinator fan.  

And we love ’em all. Whether they’re traveling to Churchill Downs in time for the official Thurby kickoff event or attending a watch party closer to home, there’s a gift for all manner of horse fans.

We’re confident that a single barrel bourbon, a beautiful bit cuff, a cheeky “de-canter” cocktail napkin set, or a saddle pad by none other than Hermès would all pair perfectly with their annual mint julep habit. Add to your cart now before the 20-horse field gets finalized.

Equestrian-inspired style is forever classic, whether you’ve recently been to the barn or not. And Juliska’s Equestrian Snaffle Bit Cuff is the perfect example of that. Understated and beautiful, in forest green leather and with a golden motif. $250 

Likewise, this KAVAL x Lingua Franca cardigan, made from 100% sustainably sourced cashmere, nails that understated style while being clearly perfect for the horse lover in your life. $390

Old fashioned glass etched with horse and jockey motif
Serve up the perfect—and quintessential Derby drink—in a set of etched horse and jockey Old Fashioned glasses from Julie Wear. Photo courtesy of Scully & Scully
Mint juleps being prepared for race fans during a Kentucky Derby party at Churchill Downs.
For the mint julep lover bring the personal touch with silver, monogrammed cups—whether the celebration is a watch party or at Churchill Downs itself. Photo by Jerry Cooke/Corbis via Getty Images
Bottle of Blanton's original single barrel bourbon whiskey
If bourbon is more their style, a bottle of Blanton’s award-winning, single-barrel—with collectable stopper—will have you winning by a nose.

And for the men, these personalized sterling silver sporting cufflinks ($260) with a horse head on one side make a lovely gift on their own, as well as paired with an Hermès Pluie Equestre Tie ($260).

Some associate the Kentucky Derby with bourbon, and bourbon only. And if you’re lucky enough to be invited to that person’s watch party, bring a set of Horse Race Old Fashioned glasses, handmade to order from Scully & Scully. (These all but guarantee you’ll be invited back next year.) $225 

While we’re at it, why not properly complete the set with a bottle of Blanton’s single barrel bourbon ($119) paired with Woodford Reserve cocktail cherries ($17.50, for those Old Fashioneds) or a two-pack of Angostura Bitters ($27.99, for mint juleps), alongside a set of these “Run for the Roses” paper cocktail napkins ($87).

Woman in a pink hat watching a horse race through a pair of binoculars
It’s all over so quickly you don’t want to miss a thing. Spy your horse jockeying for position with a pair of binoculars. Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images
Equestrian snaffle bit cuff from Juliska
This snaffle bit cuff from Juliska is a front runner. Choose from espresso or forest green. Either way, it says understated equestrian elegance. Photo courtesy of Juliska

If they’re all in on those Derby mint juleps, we love the idea of bringing a set of four personalized silver mint julep cups which they can repurpose as little desk vases whenever it’s . . . not the month of May. $129

Cheeky gifts can be hit or miss, but these charming “Decanter” cocktail napkins are an instant classic. $48 

We love getting a little more creative than a bottle of wine for host gifts (though don’t often turn those down). For your favorite filly, Rizzoli’s Stables is a richly photographed look at historic and private barns, paddocks, and stables across the country. $43 

Or go with a Jo Malone candle, in a whiskey and cedarwood scent. It’s enticing, warm, masculine, refined. . . And the kind of gift that’s inspired by the Derby, but not overtly “on theme”. $105

Retro wooden horse racing game
Place your bets! If their horse doesn’t win they may have more luck out of the starting gate with this fun, retro horse racing game.
Cover of Stables: Beautiful Paddocks, Horse Barns, and Tack Rooms by Kathryn Masson
Get inspiration from this richly photographed look at historic and private barns, paddocks, and stables across the country: Rizzoli’s Stables: Beautiful Paddocks, Horse Barns, and Tack Rooms by Kathryn Masson

Similarly, Compartés partnered with Woodford Reserve on chocolates flavored to specifically complement their bourbon. The most delightful host gift for any Derby (or whiskey—or both) enthusiast. $25

And for the host with a sense of humor (and/or the need for more gambling opportunities), this horse racing board game with its sweet retro design, is perfect to set out and play before and after the (very short) main event. $100

If they’re actually going to Churchill Downs, they’ll need a fascinator like this chic little navy number from Vineyard Vines ($118). Or this ribboned Eric Javits Artista sun bonnet, which they can wear everywhere from the races to the shore ($300).

Woman wearing a black Lingua Franca cardigan with embroidered horseshoe and heart
Adorable for a horse lover. Lingua Franca’s classic cardigan is made from 100% sustainably sourced cashmere.
Silver cufflinks with a horse head on one side
Win by a head with these silver sporting cufflinks. (Pair with an Hermès Pluie Equestre tie for the daily double.)
Hermès dressage saddle pad in orange
Comfort and style—for both horse and rider: a classic and elegant Hermès dressage saddle pad.
Straw sun bonnet with black bow tie
For anyone attending in person some headgear is a must. Either a fascinator, or a this ribboned Eric Javits Artista sun bonnet—which they can wear all summer long. Photo courtesy of Eric Javits

Maybe the fascinator was the first thing they secured after booking their flights. Anticipate another Derby need with a real-deal pair of Nikon binoculars so they don’t miss out on seeing their horse cross the finish line. $136

And if they’re actually saddling up, there is nothing more elegant to gift them than an Hermès dressage saddle pad in the design house’s iconic orange hue. $560

Hero image by mikedabell via Getty images

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