Can I Take A Drone To The Kentucky Derby?

The Kentucky Derby is one of the most popular horse races in the world that draws spectators from every corner of the planet. One thing that is known about the Kentucky Derby is that they stick closely to their tradition by implementing a few different rules that everyone attending the race must follow.

These rules cover apparel and things you can take with you on Derby day, just to make sure that the event is safe for both the spectators and participants in the race.

But what if you like to take high-quality beautiful footage with a drone? Are you actually allowed to fly a drone at the Kentucky Derby?

Let’s find out.

Can You Take a Drone to The Kentucky Derby

Unfortunately, the answer is no. According to Churchill Downs, the venue where the Kentucky Derby is held, drones are strictly prohibited on the property. This includes both recreational and commercial use.

The organizers have a strict policy about cameras, and it is not only about drones. Spectators are also not allowed to bring professional cameras with them on Derby day. As you can expect, if anyone would have a drone it could be handicapping the Kentucky Derby success and threatening visitors safety.

So, if you like taking pictures, your smartphone is the best option.

Why Drones Are Prohibited

The prohibition of drones is due to safety concerns. With thousands of people in attendance and horses racing at high speeds, there is a risk of injury or damage to property if a drone were to crash or malfunction. 

This is not just for the Kentucky Derby, but every other professional sporting event doesn’t allow drones, and it is easy to see why.

Additionally, drones can be disruptive to the horses, potentially causing them to spook or become agitated.

What Happens If You Bring a Drone Anyway

If you try to bring a drone to the Kentucky Derby, you will not be allowed on the property with it. Security personnel will confiscate your drone and you could face additional consequences, such as fines or legal action.

Alternative Ways to Capture Footage

While it’s disappointing that drones are prohibited, there are still plenty of ways to capture footage of the Kentucky Derby. 

Consider using a handheld camera or a smartphone with a stabilizer to get steady shots. With that said, it is worth mentioning that selfie sticks are also prohibited, so you might get in trouble for bringing a phone gimbal.

If you’re looking to get a bird’s eye view of the action, consider booking a helicopter tour or using a licensed aerial photographer. Of course, this can be very expensive and a nightmare to set up right.

Tips for Enjoying the Kentucky Derby

Even if you can’t capture footage with your drone, there are still plenty of ways to enjoy the Kentucky Derby. Here are some tips to make the most of your experience:

  • Arrive early to get a good spot and explore the venue.
  • Dress appropriately – the Kentucky Derby is known for its fashion, so embrace it!
  • Don’t forget your hat – it’s a tradition to wear a hat to the Derby.
  • Bring cash – many vendors only accept cash.
  • Pace yourself when it comes to food and drinks – you don’t want to miss the main event.

Final Words

While it may be tempting to bring your drone to the Kentucky Derby to capture some amazing footage, it is not allowed and you might get in trouble or miss the event. The rule is in place for safety reasons, and breaking it can result in penalties.

As we mentioned before, the next best option for you is to record the Kentucky Derby with your smartphone. Fortunately, smartphones nowadays have very high-quality cameras and you’ll be able to capture the most exciting minutes of sports easily.

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