After 35 years, the spirit of Secretariat still gallops strong through the hearts of racing fans, as evidenced by the turnout at the first Bourbon Co. Secretariat Festival last Saturday. The line for the autograph session with Penny Chenery wrapped around the exhibition building, and tours of Claiborne Farm, where Secretariat lived after his retirement from racing, were full for every scheduled half-hour. For the Secretariat Look-Alike contest, 19 big, red (and sometimes cosmetically-enhanced) equine tribute artists vied for the $3000 prize. All this and I didn’t even get a single shot of the famous bourbon!
Penny Chenery, owner of Secretariat, poses with Mom and me.
Wannabe Secretariats line up for the Look-Alike Contest
Junk in the trunk: Each contestant was evaluated on many points, including the trademark "Big Red Butt"
Champion Secretariat Tribute Artist, TROLLEY BOY. The 4 year old thoroughbred stallion was the first contestant to enter the arena and was the only one who needed no painted-on enhancement to his markings.
This pic reminds me of that shot of Sec striding onto the track for the Belmont.
Judge Jim Gaffney and Sandra White, founder of the Center for Women in Racing & chairperson for the Secretariat Festival congratulate Trolley Boy.
Mary McKinley & SHREKRETARIAT
A super fan of Super Red
Secretariat watches over Jim Gaffney and Penny Chenery at the autograph booth.
You could buy this barrel, handpainted by a local Paris artist, in the silent auction. I wonder if the bourbon is included?
This booth was brimming with authentic racing memorabilia. Those are actual saddlecloths worn by such greats as Ginger Punch, Intercontinental and FOrest Danger. Sadly, I left my "Grade-1 saddlecloth" money back at home.
Among the activites during the day were hours of mounted pony club games in the arena.
No Nerf balls here. In this game, riders had to spear balloons with sticks.
This is what 31 Lengths looks like in orange cones.
Big Red's Babes
I could go on for even more pages, but instead, I’ll just send you to my photobucket album here!