Woodford Reserve releases 2020 Kentucky Derby bottle; Artwork created by former professional baseball player;Human athlete celebrates the equine athlete
Woodford Reserve, the Presenting Sponsor of the Kentucky Derby, is honoring “The Greatest Two Minutes in Sports” with the release of its 2020 commemorative Derby bottle.
It features the work of Louisville artist Richard Sullivan, a former Atlanta Braves baseball player. Sullivan’s stunning watercolor image is of thoroughbreds as they thunder toward the finish line, with the famed Twin Spires of Churchill Downs in the background.
“There is a poetic beauty in this year’s bottle because Richard Sullivan, the human athlete, is celebrating the equine athlete,” said Woodford Reserve Master Distiller Chris Morris.
My goal was to create a beautiful image of the Kentucky Derby that embodies the spirit of competition, dedication, and freedom that is required to be your best,” Sullivan said. “I wanted to capture this intense moment of competition that is shared between the human and equine athlete. A moment when everything is on the line, time stops, awareness is heightened, mind and body are one, and anything is possible.”
The one-liter bottles of Woodford Reserve Bourbon are on sale across the United States and the globe with a retail price of $49.99.
Sullivan played baseball at Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD), and in 2008, he was drafted by the Braves in the 11th round as a junior and played six years of minor league baseball. He returned to SCAD in 2014 to finish his degree and focus exclusively on his artwork.
His work is featured across the United States, including at The Atlanta Braves Truist Park, Mercedes Benz Stadium and the National Baseball Hall of Fame. He also recently collaborated with Topps trading cards to create a series of twenty paintings of rising MLB stars for the Momentum Rising set. To see more of his work, visit www.richardsullivanillustration.com.
Sullivan said he enjoys the parallels between sports and creativity, connecting two seemingly divided worlds that, in reality, require the same sense of dedication, practice, and expertise.
The Derby bottle has been an annual collector’s item anticipated by bourbon and racing fans since 1999.
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I am so excited to finally share a really special project I worked on last year. @brownforman and @woodfordreserve chose me to create the 2020 Woodford Reserve Kentucky Derby Bottle artwork. @woodfordreserve is the official partner of the @kentuckyderby and this bottle will be sold all over the world! Today was the official launch of the bottle. Its a tremendous honor to have been chosen to paint this years bottle! I would like to thank the Woodford Reserve design team for all their support and collaboration throughout this project. My goal was to create a beautiful image of the Kentucky Derby that embodies the spirit of competition, dedication, and freedom that is required to be your best. I wanted to capture the intense moments of competition that is shared between the human and equine athlete, when everything is on the line, time stops, awareness is heightened, mind and body are one and, in that moment, anything is possible. I hope everyone enjoys the artwork! You can pick up a bottle at your local liquor or grocery store all over the world. Cheers!
Bottle release party planned in Paristown
A special Derby bottle release party will be held on Saturday, March 21 from 4 – 7 pm at Stoneware & Company, 731 Brent Street in Louisville, Ky.
The “Spring Into Derby” event, being held on the first day of Spring, will include a Derby fashion show featuring hats and bow-ties, Bluegrass Music and classic Kentucky Derby small bites from The Cafe.
The event will benefit the Backside Learning Center at Churchill Downs and will feature Sullivan autographing Derby bottles with Woodford Reserve Master Distiller Chris Morris, Assistant Master Distiller Elizabeth McCall, and several Derby-winning jockeys.
About Woodford Reserve
Woodford Reserve is crafted at the historic Woodford Reserve Distillery, tucked in the heart of thoroughbred country in Versailles, Kentucky. A National Historic Landmark, the Woodford Reserve Distillery represents craftsmanship with a balance of historic heritage and modern practices. Woodford Reserve is a product of the Brown-Forman Corporation, a premier producer and marketer of fine quality beverage alcohol brands including Jack Daniel’s, Finlandia, Korbel, Tequila Herradura, Old Forester, Sonoma-Cutrer and Chambord. Please enjoy your bourbon responsibly.
About Churchill Downs Racetrack
Churchill Downs, the world’s most legendary racetrack, has conducted Thoroughbred racing and presented America’s greatest race, the Kentucky Derby, continuously since 1875. Located in Louisville, the flagship racetrack of Churchill Downs Incorporated (NASDAQ: CHDN) offers year-round simulcast wagering at the historic track. Churchill Downs will conduct the 146th running of the Kentucky Derby on May 2, 2020. For more information visit www.ChurchillDowns.com.