ASHLAND, Va. (WRIC) — A big celebration is taking over the town of Ashland to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the famed racehorse Secretariat’s 1973 Triple Crown win.
The thoroughbred racehorse was born in Caroline County just a few miles north.
“My grandfather’s horse was born in Caroline County just up the road,” Kate Chenery Tweedy with Secretariat of Virginia told 8News.
“My grandfather was from Ashland, and he went to Randolph Macon. So, we have a lot of ties here. Secretariat was really the best horse that came out of this region, and many people say the best horse of the last 100 years.”
On Saturday, April 1, the town will unveil a 3,500-pound bronze monument of the horse at Town Hall before it embarks on a nationwide tour of the Triple Crown races.
“Kentucky Derby, Preakness, Belmont, Saratoga and it’s coming back to Colonial Downs in August which we are very excited about,” Tweedy explained.
Saturday’s celebration will begin with a free showing of the 2010 film at the Ashland Theater at 11 a.m., and conclude with family activities at Town Hall. Residents will also have the chance to chat with the sculptor.
“She’s going to tell us all about how the sculpture is made, which is fascinating,” Tweedy said.
“I’m going to show the Triple Crown races and talk about who he was and how he came to our family. And then kids’ activities, tours of the Ashland museum – it’s just going to be really fun.”
Jill Byrne with the Virginia Equine Alliance says Secretariat leaves a legacy for the Commonwealth.
“Secretariat is the benchmark by which all thoroughbred racehorses kind of [strive] to be,” she said. “There will always be horses that come along that everybody says is the greatest since Secretariat, but there will never be another Secretariat. Born and raised right here in Virginia.”
Saturday’s festivities are free. The unveiling is expected to start at 2 p.m.
You can learn more about Secretariat’s tour here.