Hall of Fame jockey Ron Turcotte, who piloted Secretariat to his historic Triple Crown victory in 1973, will headline the annual Secretariat Birthday Celebration at The Meadow March 27-29. Joining Turcotte at Secretariat’s birthplace will be Charlie Davis, who galloped “Big Red” as his exercise rider; acclaimed author Bill Nack, whose bookSecretariat – The Making of a Championserved as inspiration for Disney’s major motion film Secretariat; and Kate Chenery Tweedy, daughter of Penny Chenery and co-author of Secretariat’s Meadow – The Land, The Family, The Legend.
“I am always happy to come back to The Meadow,” said Turcotte. “I’m really looking forward to seeing all the Virginia fans.”
Fans will have many opportunities to meet the Secretariat team throughout the three-day event, which is part of the new Virginia Horse Festival. There will be autograph sessions at the Secretariat booth in the exhibit hall, along with Secretariat merchandise and memorabilia. New this year are VIP tram tours of the farm, which offer the unique experience of hearing stories from Secretariat team members while seeing the historic barns and grounds,” said Leeanne Meadows Ladin, Secretariat tourism manager at The Meadow Event Park. VIP tram tour tickets are $25 and will be available on site each day at the Narrated Tour Station. Basic tram tours also are available for $5.
On Saturday, March 28, Turcotte, Davis, Nack and Tweedy will be the guests of honor at the VIP Reception and Secretariat Storytelling Program from 5-7:30 p.m. in Meadow Hall. After the reception, Nack will share an intimate perspective on Secretariat, providing his favorite stories and personal recollections. His compelling presentation features video footage from Secretariat’s Triple Crown races, to be followed by a question-and-answer session with him, Turcotte, Davis and Tweedy. Tickets are $100 and must be purchased by March 22. Seating is limited. The price also includes one-day admission to the Virginia Horse Festival.
On Sunday, March 29, at 11 a.m., team members will go to the show ring for the Meadow Descendants Gathering to greet Thoroughbreds who have Secretariat or other Meadow Stable champions in their lineage. This “family reunion” will showcase not only the famous bloodlines, but also retired racehorses that have found new homes and new careers off the track. For more details on this event and all the Secretariat birthday festivities, visitSecretariatsMeadow.com/all-
The Virginia Horse Festival will celebrate horses and riding disciplines of all types. It will feature clinics and demonstrations with noted experts; a parade of breeds; an exhibit hall full of equine industry vendors; special events such as the Extreme Mustang Makeover and much more. Advance tickets are $10 online and may be purchased atVirginiaHorseFestival.com. This includes the Secretariat Birthday Celebration, except for the tram tours and VIP reception/program. Tickets at the gate are $15.
The Virginia Horse Festival and Secretariat.com of Louisville, Ky., are co-hosting the Secretariat Birthday Celebration at The Meadow. The Meadow Event Park is owned by the Virginia Farm Bureau Federation. Secretariat.com oversees the development and management of all official Secretariat-related merchandise and events.