Rose Covered Legacy

Rose Covered Legacy

Sponsor: Louisville Tourism

Artist: Sheila Fox

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This statue honors Willie Simms, who rode Ben Brush in 1896 and Plaudit in 1898 to win the Kentucky Derby two times.

This is one of the 11 Gallopalooza statues sponsored by Louisville Tourism, commemorating African American horsemen’s key role in building the foundation of horse racing.

Artist Statement:

Rose Covered Legacy” not only honors Willie Simms, an esteemed American jockey and U.S. Racing Hall of Fame inductee but also celebrates cultural pride and triumph. Simms’ victories in the U.S. Triple Crown series, notably at the 1896 and 1898 Kentucky Derby races aboard Ben Brush and Plaudit, are milestones in racing history.

This artwork goes beyond mere sculpture; it’s a tribute to resilience, talent, and heritage. With meticulous detail, the metallic roses, crafted using hot glue, symbolize endurance, victory, and prestige, paying homage to Simms’ enduring impact.

The painted portrait of a black couple, elegantly dressed in Derby attire, adds depth and resonance. It highlights the importance of representation and cultural heritage in racing, echoing themes of triumph over adversity and diversity.

“Rose Covered Legacy” is a powerful narrative, inviting reflection on individuals like Simms and their lasting influence. It stands as a testament to resilience, talent, and the enduring legacy of those who inspire generations to come.

—Sheila Fox


Traveling back from the Kentucky Derby Festival Pegasus Parade - check back for placement details ,