As a part of their efforts to involve Kentucky students in the annual Derby festivities, Gov. Steve Beshear and First Lady Jane Beshear have announced a design contest for Kentucky middle and high school students.

Sponsored by the Kentucky Department of Education, this year’s contest helps incorporate the arts through advanced technology. Students are asked to digitally design a jockey silk image to be displayed and promoted on 2012 Derby websites. Once the designs are submitted, they will be displayed on the Governor’s Derby Celebration Facebook page at

Winners will receive a commemorative 2012 Governor’s Derby Poster and have their winning design tweeted by Gov. Beshear. Projects may be submitted by an individual student, a class, a team of students or school clubs or organizations. Each design must include the students’ names, school, school district and a description of the project design. The deadline to submit entries is May 1.

Jockeys traditionally wear colorful jackets, called jockey silks or racing colors. Each racehorse’s owner has a unique pattern for silks and during the races, and many attendees identify their selected horse by looking for specific colors and silks worn by the jockey. Students are encouraged to consider the silk’s color, pattern, fabric, crest, shape and fastening for their design creations. Each submitted project must include a description of how and why the design was chosen and what the various designs’ colors and shapes represent.

Project design entries must to be submitted to Donna Melton by Tuesday, May 1 to qualify to win the contest.

Earlier this month, Gov. and Mrs. Beshear announced that the 76th annual Governor’s Derby Celebration will be held in historic downtown Frankfort for the second year in a row. This year’s celebration will be held on Kentucky Derby Day, Saturday, May 5 from 9 a.m. – 1 p.m. ET and is free and open to the public. For more information on the celebration, go to