New and past Newsletters on Secretariat's "Racing Into History" journey into Ashland, VA
Ashland, VA unveiling on April 1, 2023.
Ashland, VA unveiling on April 1, 2023.
As we immerse ourselves in holiday festivities, we are delighted to present an update on Secretariat for Virginia! This past month, Secretariat took center stage in the Olde Time Holiday Parade and we’ve continued planning upcoming events.
Our “Secretariat Racing Into History” didn’t break any track records on November 19, but he was certainly the center of attention as he proceeded majestically along the route of the Ashland Holiday Parade.
Kevin Engel, who hauled the monument from the foundry in Oklahoma to Ashland in April, drove the truck pulling the trailer.
Secretariat’s entourage: Lucy Lindsey, Karen Engel, Leeanne Ladin, Paul Davies and Jeannie Welliver of SECVA
Kate Chenery Tweedy, who shared Grand Marshal honors with Secretariat, waved to the cheering crowds from the truck, along with Engel family members.
SECVA again thanks the Kiwanis Club of Ashland, who organizes the parade every year, for the opportunity to participate. The parade was the last public appearance of the monument for 2023. How fitting that our Secretariat began his Triple Crown Anniversary tour in Ashland and after 5,000 miles, ended back in Ashland!
The SECVA Building Committee has been “moving like a tremendous machine” with the plans and design for the Secretariat Plaza. Representatives of the Town of Ashland, Randolph Macon College, construction companies, engineers, landscapers and many others, along with SECVA team members, have been working at a brisk pace to finalize the perfect setting for artist Jocelyn Russell’s magnificent bronze sculpture of the legendary champion.
As most people know, the plaza will be located in downtown Ashland at the corner of England Street and Railroad Avenue on the campus of Randolph Macon. Thanks to a generous grant from the Reynolds Family Foundation, it will be named the Reynolds Family Plaza. An official dedication and celebration is being planned for spring.
As we near the end of the year, we are also nearing the finish line for this project!
This is a tribute to the tremendous support of the Central Virginia community, charitable foundations, Virginia Tourism, Virginia horse racing, and countless Secretariat fans from our Commonwealth and beyond.
We can’t thank you enough! Because of your generous support, we are tentatively planning a Groundbreaking Ceremony for January 2024 and a Dedication Celebration for Spring 2024.
However, we still need your donations! Materials and labor for the installation have risen considerably and we are still a few dollars short of our total. If you donate now, there is still time to add your name to the website’s Honor List. And, for contributions of $5,000 or more, your name will be etched permanently on the Donor Wall in the Reynolds Family Plaza. Additionally, every major donor will be recognized at the dedication ceremony.
Thank you and best wishes for the holidays and the New Year!
~ Kate Tweedy
We lost a very special member of our SECVA team a few weeks ago, Jocelyn Russell’s beautiful tri-color Australian Shepherd, Alis Margaret. Alis faithfully accompanied our Secretariat Racing Into History statue on its epic Triple Crown Tour this spring and summer. It was a big job escorting Big Red, but Alis performed it with aplomb, captivating fans at every stop of the 5,000-mile journey.
She truly was our SECVA mascot, equally at home at the statue unveiling in Ashland, the Triple Crown races and even the Governor’s suite at Colonial Downs on Secretariat Stakes Day. She also traveled extensively with Jocelyn and Michael for many other projects.
As Jocelyn posted on her Facebook page, “They say Secretariat was the people's horse, and so then Alis became the people's dog on her adventures.”
For further information about the Ashland Parade, see https://ashlandvakiwanis.org/Page/31094.
Come join Secretariat "Racing Into History" as the Grand Marshal in the parade!
Join us at the 54th annual Ashland Olde Time Holiday Parade on November 19!
Throughout its spectacular Triple Crown Tour running from the racetracks of Louisville, Baltimore, New York, Saratoga and Colonial Downs, through Middleburg and the Governor's Mansion in Richmond, "Secretariat Racing Into History” has racked up enormous mileage and media attention. Now the well-traveled monument finally is in the homestretch to its hometown.
“We are thrilled to confirm that Secretariat is definitely coming home to Ashland, Virginia!” said Kate Chenery Tweedy, chair of Secretariat For Virginia (SECVA.) “Thanks to the generosity of hundreds of supporters, the Ashland Museum can now move forward and purchase this stunning bronze of Virginia’s hometown hero for the Town of Ashland.” SECVA is a committee of the Ashland Museum, a non-profit organization.
“Although this is a major milestone, we’re not over the finish line yet,” she emphasized. “The campaign won’t be complete until we have enough funds for the whole project, which includes installation, landscaping, benches, donor plaques, informational signage and educational elements. Construction costs have soared in recent years and that has driven up our budget as well. Fortunately a number of local businesses who are donating services will defray some installation cost. We want to give “Secretariat Racing Into History” a setting that is truly worthy of his stature as a Virginia icon.”
Ms. Tweedy noted that support for the monument has come from a wide array of corporations, foundations, private donors and scores of loyal Secretariat fans. “We are deeply grateful to our major donors, the Richard S. Reynolds Foundation and the Bishop/Robertson family, but also to the countless individuals who have helped make this possible,” she said. “Every dollar counts, especially since no taxpayer money is being used for this acquisition. So we urge those who may have thought the fundraising was over to contribute and help us complete this landmark project for Ashland and Virginia,” she added.
The site selected for the monument is on the campus of Randolph-Macon College, across from the Ashland/Hanover Visitors Center beside the Amtrak station. The statue by acclaimed sculptor Jocelyn Russell is 11.5 feet tall and 21 feet long, the largest sculpture of Secretariat on record. It will be the first and only statue of the champion in his home state. Ashland was chosen for the monument due to its longstanding ties to the Chenery family. The founder of Meadow Stable, Christopher Chenery, grew up in the town, attended Randolph-Macon and later founded nearby Meadow Stable where Secretariat was born, raised and first trained.
The dedication ceremony in Ashland is planned for spring 2024.
“We are thrilled to confirm that Secretariat is definitely coming home to Ashland, Virginia!” said Kate Chenery Tweedy, chair of Secretariat For Virginia (SECVA.) “Thanks to the generosity of hundreds of supporters, the Ashland Museum can now move forward and purchase this stunning bronze of Virginia’s hometown hero as a gift to the Town of Ashland.”
“Although this is a major milestone, we’re not over the finish line yet,” she emphasized. “The campaign won’t be complete until we have enough funds for the whole project, which includes installation, landscaping, benches, donor plaques, informational signage and educational elements. Construction costs have soared in recent years and that has driven up our budget as well. Fortunately, several local businesses who are donating services will defray some installation cost. We want to give ‘Secretariat Racing Into History’ a setting that is truly worthy of his stature as a Virginia icon.”
Ms. Tweedy noted that support for the monument has come from a wide array of corporations, foundations, private donors and scores of loyal Secretariat fans. “We are deeply grateful to our major donors, the Richard S. Reynolds Foundation and the Bishop/Robertson family, but also to the countless individuals who have helped make this possible.”
“Every dollar counts, especially since no taxpayer money is being used for this acquisition,” she emphasized. “Donations are tax-deductible, so we urge those who may have thought the fundraising was over to contribute and help us complete this landmark project for Ashland and Virginia.” See www.ashlandmuseum.org to donate.
WHAT A SENSATIONAL SUMMER FOR SECRETARIAT!
Throughout its spectacular Triple Crown Tour running from the racetracks of Louisville, Baltimore, New York and Saratoga, "Secretariat Racing Into History” has racked up enormous mileage and media attention. The August itinerary kept up the pace. Here are some highlights:
Middleburg rolled out the red carpet for Big Red at sold-out events at the Middleburg Community Center and the National Sporting Library and Museum on August 8-9. Kate Tweedy, Leeanne Ladin, Jocelyn Russell and Wayne Dementi hopped on the Secretariat trailer. Jocelyn kissed Bo, a Secretariat descendant posing by the bronze of his ancestor.
Virginia Governor Glenn Youngkin and First Lady Suzanne Youngkin hosted the “Welcome Home Secretariat” reception at the Executive Mansion on August 11. SECVA team in picture: Michael Dubail, Jocelyn, Kate, Robin Hutton and Leeanne. Meadow Stable grooms Larry Tillman and Alvin Mines stand by the statue with their wives Dorine and Elaine. Larry and Alvin helped take care of young Secretariat at The Meadow.
Kate Tweedy presented the trophy for the $500,000 Secretariat Stakes at Colonial Downs on August 12. Gigante, a Secretariat descendant bred in Virginia, was the winner. Virginia Commissioner of Agriculture Joe Guthrie posed with the major trophies and SECVA team members. The Secretariat monument also was on display for the event and will remain there until September 9, the final day of racing.
COMING UP – THE VIRGINIA DERBY ON SEPTEMBER 9 AND THE LAST CHANCE TO SEE SECRETARIAT AT COLONIAL DOWNS!
Concluding his whirlwind Triple Crown Tour, this will be the monument’s final appearance at a public event. How fitting to top off his epic tour and the summer racing season at our own Virginia track! See www.colonialdowns.com for more info about the Virginia Derby. Our Secretariat will be “parked” at a secure private location while the work on the plaza is completed. We are planning to hold the dedication ceremony in spring of 2024. Stay tuned!
The updated fundraising sign spells it out!
BE A PART OF ASHLAND HISTORY WITH “SECRETARIAT RACING INTO HISTORY!”
MAKE A TAX-DEDUCTIBLE DONATION TODAY TO THE ASHLAND MUSEUM AND HELP US GET THIS CAMPAIGN OVER THE FINISH LINE!
EVERY DONATION OVER $5000 SECURES A SPOT ON THE SECRETARIAT MONUMENT DONOR PLAQUE!
SEE WWW.ASHLANDMUSEUM.ORG TO DONATE
Thank you from the SECVA Team!
By aboyd | Published April 27, 2023
DERBY FESTIVAL PARADE ON SUNDAY
Secretariat Monument & New Pegasus Balloon to Make Debut on Broadway
April 27, 2023. Louisville, KY. – The event that started the Kentucky Derby Festival – the 68th annual Zoeller Pump Company Pegasus Parade – steps off THIS SUNDAY, April 30, at 3 p.m. The parade will march West on Broadway from Campbell to 9th Street. This is the second year the parade has been held on Sunday to kick off Derby Week. It’s one of the festival’s most cherished and popular events and attracts thousands of spectators to downtown. The theme of this year’s parade is “Celebrating Derby Traditions,” to showcase all that is special and unique about the Derby Festival season to the community.
“The Zoeller Pump Company Pegasus Parade showcases our community at its finest and is part of what makes this time of year so magical,” said Matt Gibson, Kentucky Derby Festival President & CEO. “We are proud to have a tradition that brings excitement and a sense of togetherness to our city. We think it’s the perfect start to Derby week and look forward to being back on Broadway this Sunday with our Festival fans and their families.”
Secretariat is being honored as this year’s Grand Marshal to mark the 50th anniversary of his historic Triple Crown win. A bronze monument of Secretariat in full stride will make its debut at the parade, as part of the “Secretariat: Larger Than Life 50th Anniversary Tour.” The monument will be accompanied by Kate Chenery Tweedy and Sarah Manning, daughters of Penny Chenery, Secretariat’s owner.
(May 17, 2023) After starring as the center of attention in the Center of the Universe (Ashland, VA) our Secretariat Racing Into History monument raced off for more destinations along the Triple Crown Trail!
Follow the monument to the other Triple Crown races! Next stop - Pimlico Racetrack for the Preakness!
Secretariat, in the form of a majestic bronze sculpture, received a hometown hero’s welcome on Saturday, April 1 in Ashland, VA. The official unveiling of Jocelyn Russell’s powerful depiction of the Virginia-born Triple Crown legend sparked uproarious cheers from the hundreds of fans who gathered to witness the “big reveal.”
The larger-than-life artwork will be on display in at the Ashland Town Hall until late April. Then it will depart on the cross-country tour celebrating the 50th anniversary of Secretariat’s historic Triple Crown of 1973.
Now the fundraising must pick up the pace to insure that the monument will return to Ashland later this fall!
“Secretariat’s story truly would come full circle if this monument is placed permanently in Ashland,” said Kate Chenery Tweedy. Her grandfather Christopher Chenery grew up in Ashland and attended Randolph-Macon College, as did generations of the Chenery family. He founded Meadow Stable in nearby Caroline County where Secretariat was born on March 30, 1970. Kate’s mother Penny Chenery, the beloved “First Lady of Racing” managed Secretariat’s spectacular career. She and many Chenery relatives are buried in Ashland. Kate Tweedy lives in Ashland and is the chair of the Secretariat For Virginia Committee of the Ashland Museum.
Secretariat Racing Into History will be the first and only statue of the great champion in his home state of Virginia. The Town of Ashland and Randolph-Macon College have agreed to provide a site on the college campus near the CSX train tracks in the downtown area.
The total cost of the Secretariat monument is $995,000. This includes foundry costs, transportation, site preparation, landscaping, pedestal and related expenses. Additionally, we are actively seeking support from corporations, grants, in-kind contributions and local donors. These efforts have already generated close to $200,000.
You Can Help us Bring Secretariat Across the Finish Line to Ashland by making a tax-deductible donation to:
Read more here: https://secretariatforvirginia.com/fundraising
WE APPRECIATE YOUR SUPPORT!
February 22, 2023
The Secretariat Racing Into History #2/2 monument by Jocelyn Russell is making great strides toward coming home to Virginia!
Per the lease signed by the town and college, when and if funds are raised by the Secretariat for Virginia committee to purchase the monument, R-MC has agreed to lease the selected property to the town. Once the monument is in place, the town and college will share fiduciary responsibilities for the maintenance of this public artwork.
"Secretariat is a beloved American figure, and the Town of Ashland is very proud of our connection to him and the Chenery family,” said Steve Trivett, Mayor of the Town of Ashland. “We are pleased to join with Randolph-Macon College in presenting an accessible, high-visibility placement for this impressive work of art. Secretariat will bring long-term tourism benefits and further enhance our town motto as the Center of the Universe."
"Randolph-Macon College deeply values our long-standing ties to the Chenery family, many of whom attended RMC, and with Meadow Stable,” said Robert Lindgren, RMC president. “This magnificent monument to Secretariat will be an exciting attraction for the public on our campus next to downtown Ashland, and an excellent reminder of the equine history of this region."
The Chenery family who owned and raced the legendary Thoroughbred has deep ties to Ashland. Christopher Chenery grew up in Ashland, attended Randolph-Macon College, and in 1936 founded Meadow Stable in nearby Caroline County where Secretariat was born in 1970. His daughter, Penny Chenery, who managed Secretariat’s spectacular career, was awarded an honorary doctorate from the college in 2011. Her daughter, author/speaker Kate Chenery Tweedy, a resident of Ashland, is leading the Secretariat For Virginia group.
“Secretariat's story truly would come full circle if the monument is placed in Ashland," said Ms. Tweedy. "How fitting it would be to see this happen during this milestone Triple Crown anniversary."
“I have always wanted this second edition of “Secretariat – Racing into History” to come home to Virginia,” said Ms. Russell. “This is literally where his history started.” The first version of the monument was placed in Lexington, Kentucky in 2019. If the funding goals are met, this would be the first and only monument to Secretariat in Virginia.
The cost of the Secretariat monument is $550,000, including transportation to the site. Installation and landscaping are additional costs, for which the group hopes to obtain in-kind contributions. SECVA is accepting pledges online and donations through the Ashland Museum, also a partner in the project.
If you have any questions on the monument or would like more information on how you can help make this movement to bring Secretariat home to Virginia a reality, please contact us and become part of "Friends of Secretariat for Virginia (SECVA)." You can also join our email list for updates on our progress. We look forward to hearing from you!