Bugle Man Kentucky Derby

On Derby Day, Steve Buttleman arrives between 7:20 and 7:30 and as the official Churchill Downs bugler, he works every race at the track. On Derby Day he is for fifteen seconds a year, the most famous man in America. On the first Saturday of every May, he emerges from the white pagoda behind the Churchill Downs Winner’s Circle, lifts a polished brass horn to his face, and plays “Call to the Post.” This is the call that tells the jockeys to lead their mounts into the starting gate and brings thrills to every person holding a ticket both at the track and watching at home.

Kentucky Derby Bugle Man

Buttleman does not start blowing the famous tune if he sees bucking or a horse acting erratically. He does not want to make it worse…for the horse that is.

Most people ask him whether or not he gets nervous knowing there are millions of folks watching and listening to him, but he is a cool character and has been in love with the bugle for a long time. In fact, he has been the official bugler for 18 years now at the Kentucky Derby.

In addition to that famous race, Churchill Downs holds two annual sessions: the Spring Meet from April to June and the Fall Meet from September to November. Races are held five days a week, and Buttleman has been known to play “Call to Post” up to eleven times a day.

Lest you think that Steve Buttleman is a slouch, let it be known that he earned a music degree from the University of Louisville, raised two children while his wife became a pediatric doctor and is an ambassador of the Kentucky Derby and travels to various places to represent his adopted state – he’s from Iowa originally. All the while he carries his bugle with him and plays a few bars of that famous Kentucky Derby 2014 tune.

March 1, 2014 by : Posted in 2014 No Comments

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