Secretariat Birthday Celebration At The Meadow Set For March 24-26

by | 02.17.2017 | 2:09pm
Secretariat following the 1973 Kentucky Derby

It's been 47 years since legendary Triple Crown winner Secretariat was born at The Meadow in Caroline County, Virginia on March 30, 1970. Today his historic birthplace is the celebration destination for legions of devoted fans who wish to remember the great racehorse and meet members of the Meadow Stable team he took on the ride of their lives. The annual Secretariat Birthday Celebration takes place March 24-26 at the Meadow Event Park in conjunction with the Virginia Horse Festival.

Slated to join the birthday festivities are Charlie Davis, Secretariat's entertaining exercise rider; Otto Thorwarth, professional jockey and actor who portrayed Ron Turcotte in the Disney film “Secretariat;” and Kate Chenery Tweedy, daughter of Penny Chenery and co-author of the award-winning Secretariat's Meadow – The Land, The Family, The Legend with Leeanne Meadows Ladin.

Highlights of the weekend program include:

• Meet and greet with Groundshaker, resident Secretariat great-great granddaughter, and Covert Action, a grandson of Secretariat and “spokeshorse” for the Thoroughbred Retirement Foundation at James River

• Mia, the resident miniature horse, who will be decked out like a “Little Big Red”

• “BARN APPETIT” farm-to-fork dinner designed by acclaimed chef Jason Alley of Pasture Restaurant, highlighting local artisan foods and craft beverages with a special surprise

• “Big Red on the Big Screen” – a showing of the Disney movie “Secretariat” with commentary by the Secretariat Team

• Narrated tours of Meadow Hall showcasing the Chenery Collection of rare Meadow Stable artifacts

• Ribbon-cutting ceremony for Groundshaker's new barn with some exciting announcements for the Secretariat tour program

• Photo ops at the “World's Largest Horseshoe,” a giant 600-lb. replica of Secretariat's racing shoe located by his historic yearling barn

• An extensive selection of official Secretariat merchandise in the Exhibit Hall and more

The Secretariat Birthday Celebration, a collaboration with Secretariat.com of Louisville, KY, is a major highlight of the Virginia Horse Festival, which celebrates horses and riding disciplines of all types. Fans can enjoy three days of clinics and demonstrations with top clinicians such as Guy McLean; a parade of breeds; 60,000 square feet of indoor shopping for all horse lovers; and much more.

Tickets for the festival and Secretariat birthday events are now on sale. See VirginiaHorseFestival.com for complete ticket information and the full program schedule. And follow the Secretariat's Meadow Facebook page for more updates on the birthday activities.

The Meadow Event Park is located off I-95 at exit 98 (Doswell) 1.5 miles east of King's Dominion theme park.

Secretariat's birthplace at The Meadow is now listed on the state and national historic registers and offers year-round narrated tours. See http://www.meadoweventpark.com/hoofprints-of-history-tour/ for more information.

  • Tim from the island

    boy you talk about 15 minutes of fame…how about 44 years worth. Time to give it a break!

    • cbyhorseman

      No horse has broken his triple crown race records. Who in their right mind would consider that horse only worth 15 minutes of fame. No current Olympic records are older than that. Give the horse and connection the credit they deserved.

      • Just saying

        I would bet Big Red would never pass the post race drug test they have today.

        • Marilyn Shively

          maybe you should reconsider “just sayin”- and say nothing

          • Marilyn Shively

            His legacy will live on through time —

        • Carla Parrillo

          Why would you say this. Every story reported about him never suggesred any enhanceperforming drugs used. He was treated for a throat infection and I think another time he ran a temp that they treated prior to race day. Lasix, or cosequin was not even heard of for horses, give credit to this horse who succeeded as he did because he could.

          • Bev

            he lost one race due to a tooth abscess. BUT was not on drugs. The losing the race made her of course get a vet to check him. He found a really bad tooth. Sick people like Just Saying…..have to always stir the pot. Sad people. They have no life other than to judge others and criticize the BEST. Sick thing to do.

        • Ida Lee

          Big Red’s adoring fans do not like it (putting it mildly) when the greatest horse ever to see daylight is dissed in any way, shape or form. And especially not when the put-down is downright ignorant and obviously has no purpose. Just saying …..

          • Barry W

            Ida Lee – I’ve been reading the PR for quite some time and I’ve always noticed how you “gush-over” most horses. I thought maybe (just maybe) that you were just “jumping on the band wagon” (as most are) but I am convinced that is the farthest from the truth. Because you do not knock other horses to support your opinion, and that deserves a THANK YOU!

            And you really do measure performance…”the greatest horse ever to see daylight”. I could not said it any better! He truly was the measuring stick for all other great horses.

          • Just saying

            I am not attacking your horse. Obviously one of the best in history. Just unfortunate facts that get in the way of you regarding my comment as ignorant. Bute, was around since Dancers Image, remember? Harthill? could be used in some states, not Kentucky. Common practice through the eighties was to give morning of the race. Levels in blood and urine would be high by todays standards not to mention the 24hr no injection rule at most tracks. Depomedrol, has been around just as long and up until 2010 or so was commonly injected into joints just days before the race, now the withdrawal is measured in weeks. Equipoise, developed in the 60s, became popular on backsides in 70s and was used on racehorses until mid 2000s. If he ever had an injection of that it may come up positive. At this time period many of the negative effects of the above mentioned drugs were not known. It would seem odd that the most celebrated horse in recent history would have not received the benefit of any of them. I am not saying they did anything dishonest or wrong. But, if he went through a Grade 1 post race drug test today it would probably be news on the paulick report.

          • Bev

            Do you realize how crazy, hurtful and stupid your comment is? with the lungs Secretariat had…he needed no drugs. WAY back then isn’t like now a days either. Horses ran their own races. Not the TRAINERS race. I supposed you think Zennyatta and American Pharoah were drugged/ butted or whatever too?? LOL Trolls. ALWAYS a troll on a good article site. I hope Mrs Chenery sues the pants of you for slander. SUGGESTING is same thing as accusing.

        • Bev

          I bet he ran clean. Like many of our champs do NOW. Not all horses are drugged. Lasix isn’t a drug if you’re talking Lasix. It’s something the WHITE MAN thinks horses need so they don’t bleed. ?? Does no harm. I doubt very much a horse like Secretariat needed THAT even. Best not stir the pot too much with your ASSUMING….unless you have proof. Which you don’t. Slandering a famous horse like that is just plain old sick. What’s it that time of the month or something??? Awwww,Too bad. Don’t take your ugliness out on any horse.

    • Carla Parrillo

      Why give this a brake? Many horses will leave their mark in horse racing history but there was and has been a different atmosphere brought to the track since Secretariat, a new class if fans that come to the track not to gamble but to love a horse like BIG RED an Chrome and can’t get enough of what they can do. I’m sure 40 years from now they will still be talking about and Celebrating Secretariat, and Chrome and maybe we will see Irish War Story or WINX added to this special list of never forgotten horses.

      • Tim from the island

        My comment was not “directed” towards Secretariat and I think he was the greatest of all time, And please do not mention chrome in the same sentence as Secretariat or those other 2 “flavor -of-the-month”.

        The comment was directed at “those associated with” and the media

        • Carla Parrillo

          To Timfrm Island,,the comment above is directed to this reply from you. One thing we agree is. Secretariat,who I have adored for over 40 years is stillthe horse I compare others to. That outrageously huge, sturdy, muscular body has been and will. Always be stamped and planted in my mind and heart forever!

      • Carla Parrillo

        …I can see you love Secretiat too. I don’t think After California Chrome who I think walked in BIG REDS foot steps using his own style, that; it will be a few years before another horse flips our hearts the way they did. Maybe Chromes 1/2 Bros or the new baby sister will live up to this. Now if i have this right; I am not very experienced with this but. Does Run Happy share blood lines with Secretariat. I tried following him but list track of their are any out there related to him. I would love to see a pure black stallion shake and rock the racing community next. I love Thoroughs but ib think we get,more variety and even talent from them. I’m not staying that as fact. Just how I feel about horses.
        My hope, one day is to see some wild mustangs once trained to become part of the racetrack landscape. With the shortage of Thoroughbreds noted. Maybe the throughbreds need some new blood and still be considered a pedigree.
        Wild horses need rescuing what better way. What horse loves running better the a wild mustang.

        • billy

          Wild horses don’t need rescued wild horses need to be left the hell alone that blm doesn’t do a damn thing good for them pisses me off

          • Carla Parrillo

            I have followed the attempts and regulation that havr,been imposed to control the herds. If we don’t make an effort to help. One day these herds will dissappear too.
            Just the neutering method alone are barbaric. And in time their will not be new foals among. Keeping them under ourvwatchfull eye and care could be a huge difference in another human dilemma , as one more species is totally gone from our landscapes.

          • Bev

            I agree with putting feed stations out and around for them. NOT scaring the living B JEEZUZ out of them herding them with helicopters. Those young foals and mothers…..seeing that video made me sick. Wanted to shoot that damn helicopter down myself. Ranchers , SOME , do put water and food out for them seeing as WE are building on their gazing lands. What they thought were their grazing lands are now shopping malls. So they HAVE to find food. Where if we didn’t build so much and take their food sources away……..ALL animals would still have their food sources. we have to stop chasing them OFF with helicopters for one thing. A mother lost her foal by doing that. SCARES the hell out of them. The foal ran off…..probably to it’s death. SAD people we have now a days. Minding their business and not herding them all up to PEN them in……should be done. Leave them alone for a few years and let them FEND/ find food lands again. IF we have left any. WE suck. HUMANS are the ones causing all these things. I have neighbors who want to SHOOT deer in their yard……..shoot every wild animal, bear that pass thru…….HEY, we told them that they bought virgin land and now their house is in the middle of the PATH many breeds of animals followed to get to their pond or food souce that they have traveled and went to for many many years. NOW there’s a house. OK, they go around the house, thru the yard and on their way. A deer isn’t going to EAT THEM. Let the deer pass thru. Nice to look at. These city slickers are SO dumb about wild life. I think we should really have laws about people who venture to BUILD in the country….should take classes first. Animals pass thru all the time. WILL not harm you or kill you. BUt they panic and are shooting everything that passes thru the yard. OR stops to LOOK at the big ugly house in their way….then they move on. Dumb people shouldn’t live in a country setting. Humans suck. I’m telling ya. I could write a book. Believe me. People have to start minding THEIR OWN business.

          • Bev

            me too. Mother Nature keeps the herds size down. Lack of water, food. White man thinks they HAVE to control EVERY living animal going. AND enhance their performance with drugs too. Busy bodies. I agree they should just mind their own business. Maybe some day a law will be made to CONTROL the amount of busy bodies we have. hmmmmm good thought. :D

        • Bev

          Los Alamitos race track, where Chrome lived and trained for 3yrs……IS actually a Quarter Horse racing track. They race quarter horses there. THAT’s why it was GREAT they let Chrome have his prep race with other TB’s there. They DID make that track bigger for Thoroughbreds so they could train there, when Hollywood park closed……Art Sherman’s barn was there at Hollywood Park, Chrome was there so Art had to move all his horses to LosAlamitos. Not sure there is actually Mustang races BUT most people I know round up their cattle and do rodeo shows with mustangs. Great horses. One of my old trainers had a Mustang. Was wicked good at herding ONE cow out of the bunch. With no rider! SMART horses. Not sure they race them though. They’re on the smaller side. Like a Morgan size horse. In Dubai…..the Sheik does have Arabian races. AND camel racing. LOL Everything BUT Mustangs. BUT you never know. Mustangs are rugged. Make VERY good farm horses.

          • Carla Parrillo

            I never knew that would happen to a black horse from the sun. A good piece of information. My grandfather had a black stallion, my mom was just a kid. Domestic animals were allowed then. I think they transported him here from Italy

  • Carla Parrillo

    This will be an event to remember. I am one lover of this horse. That 15 minutes of fame has remained with me and so many others for years later. It was Secretariat who first horse who left that amazing spell a race horse can place in your heart. Only to prepare me for that same experience and obsession once again with California Chrome. These race horses run with their hearts and souls for,us and if once in a while a horse like BIG RED AND CHROME appear on the scene then yes let’s celebrate their lives. Past, present and all that’s to come in the future.

  • Marilyn Shively

    what an awesome event- wish I could be there

  • Dottie Breckenridge

    How wonderful!🌹🏇🐎🐴❤

    • Dottie Breckenridge

      Love this horse❤

  • babs

    Apparently none of you have considered his autopsy results which showed this special animal had a heart 2 1/2 times bigger than the norm which produced his exceptional speed and endurance NOT drugs….thank you very much

    • Greg

      Thanks for the news flash but everyone already knew that, about 20 years ago!

      • babs

        I said CONSIDERED not KNEW….HELLO

        • Greg

          maybe you should just get on your broom and fly away!

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