Kentucky Derby Bans Long Lens Cameras as Paranoia Runs Deep

Cowering in fear from radical photographers intent on taking photos at this year’s Kentucky Derby, Churchill Downs racetrack has announced a series of new security measures designed to prevent attendees from bringing certain items onto the grounds. Among those items: tripods, camcorders, and any camera that has a lens longer than six inches.

The new security guidelines were created  after the Boston Marathon bombings that killed three people and injured more than 140 spectators. Many of the new rules had been imposed after 9-11, but were relaxed in recent years as the threat of terrorism became less newsworthy.

Churchill Downs is also banning coolers and purses longer than 12 inches long. Large baby bags will be allowed only when accompanied by a living, breathing baby.

“We want fans to have a wonderful and unforgettable Oaks and Derby Days, but we hope they will remember these words: ‘If you see something, say something,'” track President Kevin Flanery said in a released statement.

The changes were made in consultation with federal, state and local law enforcement and are designed to ease the concerns of Derby and Oaks attendees following what happened in Boston, where bombs made out of pressure cookers were placed amid crowds watching the marathon. It is not known which attendees to the Derby showed concern over  cameras and coolers being allowed into the Churchill Downs.


Banned Items on Kentucky Derby and Oaks Days

  • Coolers(Styrofoam coolers, ice available at infield purchase points)
  • Cans (any size or type), glass bottles or containers
  • Pop up or patron tents – no poles or stakes of any kind
  • Camcorders
  • Cameras with detachable lenses, or equipped with a lens that is 6” or longer
  • Tripods
  • Purses larger than 12” in any dimension
  • Grills
  • Alcoholic beverages
  • Thermoses
  • Backpacks
  • Luggage (includes briefcases)
  • Duffel bags
  • Wagons
  • Umbrellas
  • Weapons (including knives)
  • Fireworks, noisemakers, air horns, laser lights/pointers, mace or pepper sprays



About Thomas Derlan 224 Articles
Thomas Derlan worked directly in the online casino industry for a number of years as an affiliate manager at a large online casino and writes about the global gambling industry for