New Secretariat stride markers installed at The Meadow
Hailed as “America’s Super Horse” in 1973, the legendary Triple Crown champion Secretariat possessed many attributes that contributed to his racing prowess. One of the most notable was his ground-swallowing 25-foot stride.
Coupled with his flawless physique, enormous heart, fierce will to win and sheer love of running, that far-reaching stride carried him into the record books and beyond.
Today, visitors to Secretariat’s birthplace at The Meadow Event Park in Caroline County can see a new representation of that 25-foot stride. Two stride markers made from vintage Meadow Stables fence posts recently were installed beside a paddock in front of Secretariat’s yearling barn.
“Visitors who come here for our Hoofprints of History Tours are simply amazed at what a 25-foot stride really looks like,” said Leeanne Meadows Ladin, Secretariat tourism manager and author of Secretariat’s Meadow – The Land, The Family, The Legend. “Secretariat’s stride is said to be second only to that of another famous racehorse, Man O’ War, whose stride was 28 feet.”
A stride is a complete movement from the point of one foot striking the ground, leaving it, then striking the ground again. Stride length is the distance traveled in one stride.
“We understand that Secretariat’s stride was officially measured on a freshly groomed racetrack at 25 feet,” Ladin said. “However, his owner, Penny Chenery, has said that he was accelerating at the point of measurement and was not yet at his full racing stride.
Even though we may never know that actual distance, we are delighted to have the new stride markers here as a hands-on exhibit at The Meadow.”
The stride markers are but one feature of the narrated tour, which also includes Secretariat’s foaling shed and training barn, a Meadow Stables stallion barn, the former Thoroughbred farm’s equine cemetery, and historical exhibits in the Meadow Champions Galleries and Triple Crown Room. The Meadow is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and is a Virginia Historic Landmark.
Tours are available year-round by reservation. For more information visitMeadowEventPark.com.