143rd Kentucky Derby Winner's Trophy unveiled and polished

Updated: Apr. 5, 2017 at 4:08 PM EDT
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LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - It's fashioned from 14-karat gold and green gold and it's hand crafted for the 143rd Kentucky Derby Winner.

Sitting at 22 inches tall and weighing approximately 65 ounces, excluding the jade base, the official Winner's trophy was unveiled at Churchill Downs on Wednesday.

The Kentucky Derby Winner's Trophies were crafted by the team at S.R. Blackinton, headed by Susanne Blackinton-Juaire and her husband, Bill Juaire.

Susanne is a fifth-generation silversmith whose family entered the profession in 1862, 12 years before the first Kentucky Derby was run in 1875. The family's artisans have crafted the trophy since 1975.

The trophy creation is a five-month process.

"It's nothing you want to rush," Blackinton-Juaire said. "We take our time with it."

It's topped with a gold horse and rider and features a pair of horseshoe-shaped wreath handles. The horseshoe is pointed upward, a design change that happened in 1997 when it was pointed downward.

The smaller sterling silver replica trophies are presented to the winner's trainer, jockey and breeder.

In between public appearances, the trophies will reside inside a vault at the Kentucky Derby Museum until the week of Derby. It will then be on display inside the museum, before it's presented to the winner on Saturday, May 6. It will then be engraved with the winner's name and handed over officially.

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