Virginia’s Secretariat monument will be placed permanently in downtown Ashland by March 30 of this year. The exact location is the Secretariat Reynolds Family Plaza on the campus of Randolph-Macon College, at the corner of England St. and Railroad Ave. This is a highly visible and accessible location by the CSX railroad tracks in the heart of historic Ashland where residents and tourists alike can enjoy this magnificent representation of the legendary champion.
Absolutely! March 30 is Secretariat’s birthday, so the town will be celebrating this, along with the dedication of the monument and plaza. More details will be coming soon.
At 21 feet long and 11.5 feet tall, the 3,500-pound sculpture depicts Secretariat at a full run, ridden by jockey Ron Turcotte. The great Thoroughbred is wearing the number two saddlecloth for the Belmont Stakes, his most famous race. This is 1.5 times his natural size. The bronze monument weighs 3,800 pounds.
There are several reasons, starting with family ties. Christopher T. Chenery, who founded nearby Meadow Stable in 1936, grew up in Ashland and attended Randolph-Macon College. He maintained close ties to the town throughout his life and is buried there with several family members. His daughter, Penny Chenery, visited Ashland often and is also buried there. Her daughter Kate Chenery Tweedy lives in Ashland and is an active citizen. The Ashland community, which considers Secretariat their “hometown hero,” enthusiastically embraced the statue project, raising money and contributing in-kind services.
Another plus is that Ashland, which is about 15 miles north of Richmond, is a vibrant tourism destination. Visitors and residents can enjoy the eclectic shops, farm-to-table dining, lively arts and entertainment, historic venues, hiking and biking trails, and a full calendar of special events. Our Secretariat monument will be ideally located “where the action is,” and no doubt will become a starring attraction in its own right.