newsnew licensing agreement will enhance experiences secretariats birthplace

New licensing agreement will enhance experiences at Secretariat’s birthplace


The Meadow Event Park is now an officially licensed affiliate of, which oversees the development and management of Secretariat-related enterprises for the Chenery family.

secretariatThis agreement solidifies a plan for the historical preservation of the Caroline County property and its development as a heritage tourism destination highlighting the original 1930s Meadow Stable barns. The structures are listed on the National Register of Historic Places and the Virginia Landmarks Register.

Legendary Triple Crown champion Secretariat was born at Christopher Chenery’s Meadow Stable, which is now known as The Meadow Event Park and home of the State Fair of Virginia. It is owned and operated by Commonwealth Fairs & Events LLC, a subsidiary of Virginia Farm Bureau Federation.

“Our collaboration with the Chenery family and will help us present an even more enriched and engaging experience for fans who come from all over the country to see Secretariat’s birthplace,” said Marlene Pierson-Jolliffe, vice president of operations for CF&E and The Meadow Event Park. “These combined efforts will ensure that The Meadow’s special place in both Virginia history and horse racing history can be more fully appreciated and preserved.”

Secretariat’s owner, Penny Chenery, said she and her family have been pleased to partner with CF&E. “My children and I have been delighted with CF&E’s vision to preserve the property and its history and to share it with racing fans and the people of Virginia,” she remarked.

Renamed the “Secretariat Birthplace Tours,” the current program includes the historic barns as well as galleries and exhibits, an annual Secretariat Birthday Celebration during the Virginia Horse Festival and a Salute to Secretariat at the State Fair.

The star of the tour is Groundshaker, a great-great granddaughter of Secretariat. Chenery retired the 6-year-old Thoroughbred, the last she bred and raced, to The Meadow and also provided many rare items of Meadow Stable memorabilia for display on the tours. Future plans call for careful restoration of the barns to authentically portray the history of Meadow Stable, along with more interactive exhibits and special events.

“Our family is very excited about this project,” said Kate Chenery Tweedy, family historian and co-author of Secretariat’s Meadow – The Land, The Family, The Legend.  “The Meadow is such a beautiful, special place that has so much to say and share. I am happy to lend my voice to an effort that will take the visitor experience to a new level.”

Leeanne Ladin, Secretariat tourism manager, coordinates The Meadow Event Park’s Secretariat-related events. As co-author of Secretariat’s Meadow, she serves as resident historian and chief tour narrator. For more information about the Secretariat Birthplace Tours, visit



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