The annual Secretariat Birthday Celebration at The Meadow Event Park in Caroline County will have extra horsepower this year. Fans can enjoy an even bigger celebration for “Big Red” at his birthplace as a major highlight of the new Virginia Horse Festival, March 27-29.
The expanded schedule of birthday festivities will include:
• Celebrity appearances and autograph signings by members of the Secretariat team
• A VIP reception and program in Meadow Hall mansion
• Visits with local Secretariat descendants
• An extensive selection of Secretariat merchandise for purchase
• Special Secretariat and Meadow Stable memorabilia on display
• Narrated tram tours of the farm, including special VIP tours with members of the Secretariat team
• An Open House at Meadow Hall featuring the Meadow Champion Galleries, Triple Crown Room and Museum of the Virginia Horse
An exciting new feature this year is the Meadow Descendants Gathering. Horses who have Secretariat or other famous Meadow champions in their pedigrees will parade into the show ring for a “family reunion.” They will be greeted by members of the Secretariat team, who will pose for photos with the horses.
“This gathering will pay homage to the Meadow Stable bloodlines, as well as highlight the versatility of retired racehorses, many of whom have found new careers off the track,” said Leeanne Meadows Ladin, Secretariat tourism manager at The Meadow and co-author of “Secretariat’s Meadow – The Land, The Family, The Legend.”
The event is being presented by Secretariat.com., the Retired Racehorse Project, the Thoroughbred Retirement Foundation at James River and the Secretariat tourism program at The Meadow. See SecretariatsMeadow.com for more information and an entry form for the Meadow Descendants Gathering, as well as for birthday event updates.
Several of the birthday activities are included in general admission to the Virginia Horse Festival, which is $10 online at VirginiaHorseFestival.com and $15 at the gate. Tickets go on sale in early February. The VIP reception and program requires a separate ticket, available on the festival website. Tram tickets will be available each day onsite at the birthday event.
The Virginia Horse Festival celebrates horses and riding disciplines of all types with three days of clinics and demonstrations with top clinicians; a parade of breeds; an exhibit hall full of equine industry vendors; special events; and much more.
Secretariat was born at The Meadow on March 30, 1970. He was raised and first trained there as a young colt. In 1973, he made history as the only Triple Crown champion to break all three track records, all of which still stand. Today, The Meadow offers narrated “Hoofprints of History” tours of Secretariat’s birthplace from March to December. See http://www.secretariatsmeadow.com/info-on-narrated-tours-of-the-meadow/ for more info.
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. Additional support for the event is provided by Caroline County Department of Tourism.