The birthplace of Secretariat, the winner of the 1973 Triple Crown, will be up for auction a week from today following the foreclosure of the Virginia State Fair that bought the property.

Meadow Farm, which was purchased by the State Fair of Virginia Inc. in 2003 and became the home of the fair in 2009, will be sold at foreclosure auction on May 22 by Motley’s Auction & Realty Group, according to its website.


Virginia-bred Secretariat swept the Kentucky Derby, Preakness Stakes and Belmont Stakes as a three-year-old after being named Horse of the Year at two.  
The farm, which played a central role in the 2010 Walt Disney Co. movie about Secretariat, was purchased by Christopher Chenery in 1932. He was in bad health when his daughter, Penny Chenery, took over management of the farm and bred Somethingroyal to Bold Ruler, producing Secretariat.

The State Fair of Virginia started in 1854 and is the longest-running event in the state, according to Motley’s. The property being auctioned on May 22 in Doswell, Virginia, about 26 miles north of Richmond, includes 331 acres of land, a 76,000 square-foot exhibition hall, and a 12,850 square-foot manor house.

In a related item, a preservation group has named Secretariat’s birthplace among the most endangered historic sites in Virginia.

Preservation Virginia’s annual list of endangered sites included Meadow Farm and ten others including the low water bridge in Warren County that leads to Wayne and Susie Chatfield-Taylor’s Morgan’s Ford Farm.

The foaling shed where Secretariat was born on March 30, 1970, remains on the property, as does his stall in the yearling shed and the training barn.

Penny Chenery, in a statement released by Preservation Virginia, said she is hopeful the new owner is mindful of Meadow Farm’s history.

“We very much hope that any future owner will see the inherent value of returning The Meadow to its best use not only as the site of the State Fair of Virginia, but as a historic equine destination that no other state can claim,” Chenery said.


Preservation Virginia releases its list of endangered places annually to highlight places, buildings and archaeological sites “that face imminent threats to their integrity or in some cases their very survival.”

The Morgans Ford low water bridge is a 321-foot bridge constructed in 1925 that crosses the Shenandoah River.  The state of Virginia is proposing to replace the single-lane bridge with a new modern one.