Home Biographer, actor part of Secretariat Birthday Celebration

Biographer, actor part of Secretariat Birthday Celebration


secretariatWilliam Nack, author of the best-selling book Secretariat—The Making of a Champion, and Otto Thorwarth, who portrayed jockey Ron Turcotte in the Disney film Secretariat, will be among headliners for the Secretariat Birthday Celebration at The Meadow Event Park April 1-3.

They will join author Kate Chenery Tweedy, daughter of Secretariat’s owner, Penny Chenery, and Charlie Davis, his exercise rider. The celebration is a collaboration with Secretariat.com and a highlight of the Virginia Horse Festival.

Nack chronicled Secretariat’s meteoric rise to Triple Crown fame, and his book is considered the definitive Secretariat biography. He served as a consultant on the Disney film and made a cameo appearance as a sportswriter.

Thorwarth, a professional jockey for 12 years, won almost 1,500 races prior to landing the role of Secretariat’s jockey in the film.

Nack, Thorwarth, Tweedy and Davis will share their respective memories of the farm, the movie and Secretariat’s Triple Crown win during a special program marking the 80th anniversary of Meadow Stable. They also will welcome Groundshaker, who will make her public debut at a paddock party in her honor. The great-great-granddaughter of Secretariat is the last horse bred and raced by Penny Chenery. Plans are in the works to make Groundshaker the star attraction of the Secretariat tourism program at The Meadow.

The Birthday Celebration also will feature autograph sessions and photo opportunities with the Secretariat team as well as the new Meadow Memorabilia Roadshow, which includes rare artifacts related to Secretariat and other Meadow champions like Riva Ridge, Cicada and Hill Prince. Additionally, guests may take tram tours of Secretariat’s birthplace, including VIP tours with the team.


About the Virginia Horse Festival

The Virginia Horse Festival celebrates horses and riding disciplines of all types. Horse lovers can enjoy three days of clinics and demonstrations with top clinicians; a parade of breeds; 60,000 square feet of indoor shopping; and special events like the Colt Starting Challenge USA.

Visit VirginiaHorseFestival.com for ticket information and the full festival schedule.



Have a guest column, letter to the editor, story idea or a news tip? Email editor Chris Graham at [email protected]. Subscribe to AFP podcasts on Apple PodcastsSpotifyPandora and YouTube.