Videobred and the Kentucky Derby: A Love Story

It started with a hole in the fence outside Churchill Downs. The teenage versions of Dave Shulhafer and Bob Manning, the eventual founders of Videobred, used this hole to gain free entry into the track on days they didn’t feel like wasting at Manual High School. On Derby Day, an enormous man stood guard in front of their hole. He made them pay $5 to crawl through. That’s how their love for horseracing, especially the Kentucky Derby, developed.

“We would go to the infield and we saw what a big spectacle it was,” Dave said.

The Derby and Videobred have a long history together, dating back to the origins of the company. The name “Videobred” came about as a play on words to “thoroughbred.”

“We named it Videobred because we thought the horse industry could use our images and we could tell stories with these images to promote one of the prettiest industries in Kentucky. And it worked,” Dave said.

In the early days of Videobred, they produced video projects for Triple Crown winners Seattle Slew and Affirmed. They also began to produce annual programs for local stations like WHAS.

As Videobred grew over the years, their relationship with the Derby became even bigger. In the early 1980s, Videobred became notorious for throwing pre-Derby bashes, which Dave says were some of the best parties he had experienced.

For the guys and Videobred, Derby week meant no sleep. They had to be on the backside of Churchill Downs at 4 a.m. most mornings, even after covering the free country concerts at Freedom Hall put on by Videobred client Philip Morris the night before.

Bob and Dave even bought the silks worn by 1992 Derby winner Lil E. Tee at an event celebrating legendary jockey Pat Day’s 7,000th win. Where are these silks now? Hanging in Jamie Pence’s office.

So, we hope everyone had a fantastic Derby weekend. It’s truly the best time of year to be a Kentuckian.

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