Plan Your Own Derby Party


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Party Games - Here are some ideas to keep your guests entertained!


Horseshoes is an outdoor game played between two people (or two teams of two people) using four horseshoes and two stakes. The game is played by the players alternating turns tossing horseshoes at stakes in the ground, which are traditionally placed 40 feet apart.

In horseshoes, there are two ways to score: by throwing "ringers," or by throwing the horseshoe nearest to the opposite stake.  (This scoring system gives rise to the popular expression "Close only counts in horseshoes and hand grenades.") A ringer is a thrown horseshoe such that the horseshoe completely encircles the stake.

Point System
1 Point - The nearest horseshoe to the stake within 6 inches
2 Points - If both of one player's horseshoes are closer than the opponent's or a leaner, the case where a horseshoe literally leans on the stake
3 Points - A ringer! (If each player throws a ringer, the ringers cancel and no points are scored)
Most games are played to 21, winner must win by two

Derby Pool

Place the number 1 - 20 on individual pieces of paper to represent each Derby contender.  Fold each piece and place slips in a hat.  Have each guest pull a number out that they will root for during the race.  If you have more than 20 guests, just repeat the numbers.  You can give each winner a prize or let them cut to the front of drink line!  Buy some great merchandise to use for prizes at!

Frozen Jockey

Use small jockeys on horses, like the size that would be on cupcakes and freeze them to the tops of ice cubes in the freezer. At the start of the race all participants can wager on a horse.  Using a flat surface in your house (glass from storm door ) tilt it at a slight angle on a table.  Line the ice cube jockeys up, keeping them in place with a yard stick and then let them loose all at once for a fun and crazy race. The ice jockeys melt, turn, spin and slide at the whimsy of the weather and heat. Some zoom by and knock others out of the way. It truly is a game of chance and all can have fun.  To repeat simply refreeze the jockeys on new ice cubes and freeze until the down time between the next races. 

Stick Horse Races - Great for Kids!

Materials Needed:
Men’s athletic socks – black, brown, white
Felt – white, black, brown, red, tan
Styrofoam peanuts
Glue or hot glue gun
Black electrical tape

Begin by choosing a sock and fill it with styrofoam peanuts.  Tape the sock to the broomstick.  Use the felt to make the eyes, nose and mane for the horse.  After the horses are complete then you can conduct your own Derby race card.  Divide the kids (or guests) up into heats and have them race their horses and then have match races until you get down to the Derby heat and crown the winner with red roses!

Twister® - Derby Style

A new take on an old favorite. Instead of calling out the usual “left hand on red” replace the colors with your favorite Derby elements.  Suggestions are: Big Brown (2008 Derby Winner), Proud Spell (2008 Oaks Winner), Hats, Roses, Twin Spires, Jockey Silks.  Print out images of each element and tape them to the colored circles.