On March 30, 1970, Secretariat drew his first breath in a little white foaling shed on a historic farm called The Meadow in Caroline County, Virginia. Three years later he would leave the nation breathless as he captured the Triple Crown, shattering records and rivals alike.

Though much has been written about his spectacular racing career, the complete story of Secretariat’s birthplace and the Chenery family who raised and raced him has never been told…until now. And now a Chenery is telling it.

Secretariat’s Meadow – The Land, The Family, The Legend is by Kate Chenery Tweedy, daughter of Penny Chenery (Tweedy) and granddaughter of Christopher T. Chenery, who founded the Thoroughbred farm in 1936. An author and family historian, Kate Tweedy has worked on the manuscript for three years. The book, written with Leeanne Meadows Ladin, a Virginia writer, tells not only Secretariat’s story but the saga of an enduring piece of land where an “empire built on broodmares” produced an immortal son.

Secretariat’s Meadow will be published in September, prior to the much-anticipated release of the Disney movie Secretariat slated for October 8. The movie is based on Penny Chenery’s life story and turf writer Bill Nack’s book Secretariat – The Making of a Champion.

Penny Chenery wrote the foreword to Secretariat’s Meadow and shared over 200 exclusive photos from her private collection for the 160-page pictorial history. Chapters describe Chris Chenery’s climb from rags to riches; the early champions of Meadow Stable such as Hill Prince and Cicada; the rescue of The Meadow by Riva Ridge; the forgotten stories of the African -American grooms who helped raise Secretariat, and much more.

The narrative is enriched by Kate Tweedy’s vivid recollections of The Meadow as a child, her access to family papers and her eyewitness account of the magic and the mayhem surrounding her mother and “Big Red” during the Triple Crown races in 1973.

The back cover of the book features affirmations from Diane Lane, the award-winning actress who plays Penny Chenery in the movie Secretariat, and jockey Ron Turcotte, exercise rider Jim Gaffney, author Bill Nack, racing historian Ed Bowen and Dell Hancock of Claiborne Farm.

Secretariat’s Meadow will be published by Dementi Milestone Publishing of Virginia. Copies may be ordered in advance at, which also features more information about the book and authors. For more information about Secretariat’s Meadow, please contact Leeanne Ladin at or at 804-232-7521.