Louisville Magazine

APR 2019

Louisville Magazine is Louisville's city magazine, covering Louisville people, lifestyles, politics, sports, restaurants, entertainment and homes. Includes a monthly calendar of events.

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34 LOUISVILLE MAGAZINE 4.19 Courtesy of the Culbertson Mansion U of L Archives A BIT OF HISTORY You would think — given that he was a multimillionaire banker with a grand mansion on Third Street, sat on the Churchill Downs board of directors for 29 years (10 of them as chairman), and served as the track's president from The Derby's Dandy High society and Sam Culbertson. By Jack Welch 1928 to 1937, during which time three Derby winners went on to win Triple Crowns — that Samuel Culbertson might have earned at least a mention in the Encyclopedia of Louisville or his Central Avenue employer's online historical record. But no. The closest Culbertson got to lasting recognition was a four-sentence compliment on his "Beau Brummell" appearance in Derby-legend Matt Winn's autobiography Down the Stretch. Maybe it was because his father, William Culbertson, once called the richest man in Indiana, also was a banker and owned a (bigger yet) mansion in New Albany. Maybe Sam was the victim of a media mix- up and that's why his Hoosier dad (who despised horse racing) was the one to get the entry in Louisville's Encyclopedia. Its authors might have noted that Sam — who regularly wore spats, white gloves and a polished derby — was devoted to more than money and Thoroughbreds. He rode, drove and exhibited American Saddlebred horses, the "peacock of the horse world," including the four-in-hand team that pulled his carriage "Idle Hours" around the ring at the prestigious, wealth-attended Louisville Horse Show, inaugurated — where else? — at Churchill Downs in 1902. Above: Culbertson (far right) at the 1934 Derby with Matt Winn (far left) and Gov. Ruby Laffoon (third from left). Below: Culbertson (wearing derby) in 1935. THE BIT

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