The Meadow Event Park, historic birthplace of the 1973 Triple Crown champion in Caroline County, will present the annual Secretariat Birthday Celebration on Saturday, March 30 with an array of festivities that will include a 50th birthday tribute to stablemate Riva Ridge. The 1972 Kentucky Derby and Belmont Stakes winner was known as the “horse that saved Meadow Farm.”
Kate Chenery Tweedy, daughter of The Meadow’s Penny Chenery, will be the celebrity host for the event, which will also feature acclaimed sports journalist Steve Haskin, and Steve Jordan, an assistant to trainer Lucien Laurin.
“The Secretariat Birthday Celebration was always a Virginia homecoming for my mother, and she would have been glad that this year’s renewal is celebrating both of the Meadow’s favorite four-legged sons — Secretariat and Riva Ridge,” Ms. Tweedy said. “Mom called Riva her ‘Golden Boy’ because he saved the farm and paved the way for Secretariat’s Triple Crown. We are delighted to celebrate his 50th birthday and his racing career here at The Meadow, where he was raised and first trained.”
With two general admission ticket options, the party starts with “Family Fun” time from 10 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. with lots of “horsey” activities for kids. Highlights will include; visits with Groundshaker, the resident Secretariat great-great granddaughter, and her buddy, Mia the miniature horse; celebrity autograph sessions; and narrated tram tours around the historic barns. Guests will also be able to see a display of original training saddles worn by Secretariat and Riva, make birthday cards for the two honorees, watch videos of Secretariat and Riva Ridge’s races, see the Meadow Champion Galleries, Triple Crown Room and Chenery Collection of memorabilia, and of course enjoy birthday cake. The price for the half-day program is $15 per adult and $10 per child.
The full-day ticket option includes the “Family Fun” time, as well as a special program and cocktail reception from 3:00 – 7:00 pm. The story of Riva Ridge will shine in the long-overdue spotlight as Ms. Tweedy and special guests share their personal memories of the almost forgotten champion. The premiere of the new short film by John Tweedy, son of Ms. Chenery, will round out Riva Ridge’s 50th birthday tribute. The celebration will culminate with Steve Haskin’s commentary on the Florida Derby and analysis of the Kentucky Derby hopefuls. Guests can enjoy a cocktail buffet with signature drinks named for Secretariat and Riva Ridge, as well as a silent auction of exclusive Meadow Stable memorabilia. The price of $50 per adult covers the full-day Secretariat Birthday Celebration and Riva Ridge tribute from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.
For more information on the birthday program and all ticket options, see https://www.meadoweventpark.com.
The Secretariat Birthday Celebration is a major program of the Secretariat Birthplace Tours in collaboration with Secretariat.com. Secretariat’s birthplace at The Meadow Event Park is listed on the state and national historic registers and offers year-round narrated tours by reservation. See https://www.meadoweventpark.com/secretariat-birthplace-tours for more information.