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Groundshaker star attraction of Hoofprints of History Tours

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secretariatIt’s been a long time since Thoroughbred horses have lived at Secretariat’s birthplace at The Meadow Event Park in Caroline County, but things have come full circle.

There’s a tall bay mare galloping across the grounds. She’s Groundshaker, a great-great-granddaughter of Secretariat and the last horse ever bred and raced by Secretariat’s owner, Penny Chenery.

Despite her famous genes, Groundshaker’s time at the track was brief and undistinguished; she raced twice and never placed. On Feb. 14, she will be 6 years old and just settling into her new career as the star attraction of the Hoofprints of History Tour program at The Meadow.

“Having Groundshaker at her ancestral home is like a valentine from Penny Chenery to Secretariat fans everywhere,” noted Leeanne Ladin, Secretariat tourism manager and co-author of Secretariat’s Meadow – The Land, The Family, The Legend. “She’s a living link to racing immortality. Maybe Groundshaker wasn’t destined for the winner’s circle at the racetrack, but she is definitely a winner with our tour visitors.”

Ladin said guests get a double treat watching the antics of Groundshaker’s spunky little companion, Mia the miniature horse. The two share a large, white-fenced paddock with a white barn trimmed in blue, the colors of Meadow Stable racing silks.

Visitors can see Groundshaker and Mia by booking a Hoofprints of History Tour. The tours also feature the galleries and Secretariat exhibits in Meadow Hall, including the Chenery Collection of rare Meadow Stable items; and the original barns where Secretariat lived.

Groundshaker and Mia also will participate in special events such as the upcoming Secretariat Birthday Celebration at the Virginia Horse Festival, March 24-26. Tickets are on sale atVirginiaHorseFestival.com. The duo also will participate in the Salute to Secretariat at the State Fair of Virginia and educational programs for children.

In the meantime, plans are in place for Groundshaker’s birthday on Valentine’s Day. Visitors who book a tour can enjoy carrot cake and photo opportunities with Groundshaker and Mia, weather permitting. For tour reservations, visit MeadowEventPark.com.

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