Secretariat for Virginia (SECVA) is a committee of the Ashland Museum consisting of founding members closely associated with Secretariat’s legacy, plus community leaders and others who wish to further recognize the champion’s historic ties to his home state and his importance in Virginia’s sporting history. Click here.
Our mission is to support the funding, acquisition and placement in Virginia of the existing bronze Secretariat monument by sculptor Jocelyn Russell in celebration of the upcoming 50th anniversary of his legendary 1973 Triple Crown victory.
Secretariat, widely considered the greatest racehorse of all time, was born and trained at Meadow Stable in Caroline County, Virginia. The times of his Triple Crown races of 1973 have never been equalled, and ESPN named him one of the top athletes of the 20th century.
Sports writers called him “America’s Super Horse.” Today his descendants dominate racing, including American Pharoah and Justify, the Triple Crown winners of 2015 and 2018.
Monuments of Secretariat exist in Kentucky and New York, and even Canada, but not one stands in his home state. Given the heartfelt pride that Virginians feel for their legendary champion, a monument would represent a fitting celebration of him and of Virginia’s historic horse racing industry.
The monument would also be a sensational tourist and educational attraction that would draw visitors nationwide, especially during the upcoming 50th anniversary of his Triple Crown.
This awe-inspiring bronze, which is 1.5 times life size, shows the powerful Thoroughbred in his full racing stride with jockey Ron Turcotte aboard. Ms. Russell, an internationally renowned sculptor, consulted with veterinarians and the jockey himself to brilliantly capture the horse’s magnificent motion.
The monument recently was unveiled in Ashland, VA for the kickoff celebration of the 50th anniversary of Secretariat’s Triple Crown. It will go on the Triple Crown Tour for the next few months. We are working to make sure it returns for permanent placement in Ashland!
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.
The enthusiastic support of Randolph-Macon College and the Town of Ashland for “Secretariat Racing Into History” was a huge boost for the efforts of our SECVA team to place the monument in the legendary champion’s home state of Virginia.
The officials with Jocelyn and Kate are L to R: Bob Lindgren, President of Randolph-Macon College; Josh Farrar, Ashland Town Manager; and Steve Trivett, Mayor of the Town of Ashland.