LOUISVILLE, Ky., May 9, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Following their dramatic victory in the 137th Kentucky Derby on Saturday, the connections of Animal Kingdom were presented with The Longines Column-Wheel Chronograph, the official watch of the Kentucky Derby at the event's exclusive Winners' Circle Gala.
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Owner Barry Irwin, trainer Graham Motion and jockey Johnny Velazquez received the watches from Jennifer Judkins, U.S. Brand President for Longines, the Official Watch and Timekeeper of the Kentucky Derby and Churchill Downs.
Animal Kingdom covered the 1 1/4 miles from the starting gate to the finish line in 2 minutes, 2.04 seconds, as registered on the official Longines timekeeper.
As Official Watch and Timekeeper of the Kentucky Derby and Churchill Downs, Longines had a visual presence at the racetrack and surrounding areas. Luxury clocks and timepieces were located throughout Churchill Downs facility, and a digital "Longines Kentucky Derby Countdown Clock" was displayed at Churchill Downs' official event Web site for the Kentucky Derby (www.KentuckyDerby.com).The watchmaker also had a "Longines Kentucky Derby Countdown Clock" at the Churchill Downs Store in Louisville International Airport.
Included in the Derby Week activities, Longines was part of the Chambord Kentucky Oaks® Fashion Contest, Taste of Derby and Winners' Circle gala. Longines also partnered with Hall of fame trainer Bob Baffert during Kentucky Derby week.
Longines is based in Saint-Imier, Switzerland, and its watchmaking expertise reflects a strong devotion to tradition, elegance and the sporting world. Reflecting the know-how of the Swiss brand, these watches highlight the elegance of Longines. The official watch of the event, The Longines Column-Wheel Chronograph embodies the precision and beauty of equestrian sports – its stainless steel case houses an exclusive self-winding caliber with a blue column-wheel that can be admired through the transparent back. This model displays a silvered dial with 13 indexes and offers the chronograph functions, central seconds sweep, 30-minutes and 12-hour counters. A dark brown alligator strap puts the finishing touch to this elegant watch.
Longines' partnership with the Kentucky Derby and Churchill Downs adds to a long and distinguished list of top-level, world-class international events in which the Swiss-based watchmaker has been a key participant. Longines has served as the official timekeeper for the French Open Tennis Championships, horse races at Britain's famed Royal Ascot, the Singapore Gold Cup, the Longines Mackinnon Stakes taking place during the renowned Melbourne Cup Carnival and numerous gymnastics and alpine skiing events.
Based in St. Imier in Switzerland since 1832, the watchmaker Longines can look back on more than 175 years of non-stop craftsmanship, as well as a solid heritage as timekeeper for world championships in various sports and collaborator with different international sports federations. Known for the elegance of its timepieces, Longines is a member of the Swatch Group Ltd, the World's leading manufacturer of horological products. With the winged hourglass as its emblem, the brand has outlets in over 130 countries.