newsspecial events horse festival include secretariat descendant debut colt gentling parade breeds
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Special events at horse festival include Secretariat descendant debut, colt gentling, parade of breeds

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secretariatThis year’s second annual Virginia Horse Festival will welcome Groundshaker, a great-great-granddaughter of legendary Secretariat.

Groundshaker will be on hand for a special birthday celebration for Secretariat, who was born at The Meadow Event Park where the festival is being held April 1-3. Efforts are underway to eventually welcome her as a permanent resident at The Meadow.

Other notable events during the horse festival include the Colt Starting Challenge, during which eight trainers will gentle and ride a previously unridden horse. As they work with the horses Friday and Saturday, they will explain to audiences how they are gentling the colts. On Saturday night during the finale, the trainers and horses will navigate a judged obstacle course to determine the winner.

Another entertaining event is the Southern States Parade of Breeds, which highlights different breeds of horses, including draft horses, mules, Paint horses, Paso Finos, Rocky Mountain horses, Tennessee Walkers and Thoroughbreds. The parade will be held Fridaynight.

The Secretariat birthday celebration will include autograph signings with Secretariat’s biographer, Bill Nack; Otto Thorwarth, who portrayed Secretariat’s jockey Ron Turcotte in the Disney movie; former exercise rider Charlie Davis; and Kate Chenery Tweedy, daughter of Penny Chenery, who owned Secretariat. There also will be narrated tram tours of the farm, a “Paddock Party” to welcome Groundshaker and a “Memories of The Meadow” anniversary party with the Secretariat team.

The paddock party and Meadow anniversary event require separate tickets, which can be purchased on the horse festival website until 11:59 p.m. March 27:VirginiaHorseFestival.com.

The festival also will feature more than 100 clinics, demonstrations and seminars, and over 60 retail vendors offering shopping, food and more!

Festival hours are 11 a.m. until 8 p.m. Friday, 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. Saturday and 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Sunday.

The Meadow Event Park in Caroline County, Va., is the birthplace of Secretariat and home to the State Fair of Virginia. The Meadow is owned by Virginia Farm Bureau Federation, which is committed to preserving Virginia’s rich agricultural heritage and ensuring that the property thrives as a regional event and equine venue.

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