THIS EVENT HAS BEEN CANCELED DUE TO THE CORONAVIRUS. All tickets will be refunded. At this time, there are no plans to reschedule.

On March 30, 1970, a legend was born. A fiery red colt named Secretariat took his first breath in a foaling shed at Christopher Chenery’s Meadow Stable in Caroline County, Virginia. In 1973, he left the world breathless with his spectacular and incomparable Triple Crown.

On March 28, 2020, Secretariat’s birthplace, now known as The Meadow Event Park, will be the site of the official celebration honoring the immortal champion’s 50th birthday and his enduring legacy.

Kate Chenery Tweedy, daughter of the late beloved “First Lady of Racing,” Penny Chenery, will headline the all-day event with acclaimed sports journalist Steve Haskin, along with Steve Jordan, assistant to Secretariat’s trainer Lucien Laurin. Joining them will be jockey and actor Otto Thorwarth, who played Ron Turcotte in Disney’s Secretariat.

The festivities kick off with Family Fun time from 11 am – 3:00 pm with a half-day ticket at $20 for adults and $10 for kids. Highlights include:

  • A free commemorative Secretariat 50th Birthday gift to the first 250 attendees, courtesy of celebration sponsor Colonial Downs Racetrack, home of the nationally acclaimed Secretariat Turf Course
  •  Autograph sessions with Tweedy, Haskin, Jordan, Thorwarth, and other special guests
  • A special exhibit of spectacular Secretariat paintings by renowned contemporary American Impressionist Lisa Palombo, whose art has been featured on over 40 book covers and national magazines
  • Visits with Groundshaker, great-great granddaughter of Secretariat, and Mia, the Mighty Mini of The Meadow
  • A display of the original training saddles worn by Secretariat and Riva Ridge
  • A display devoted to Lady’s Secret, Secretariat’s champion daughter and Horse of the Year in 1986
  • A Kiddie Corral with “horsey” activities for kids
  • Tours of the Meadow Champion Galleries, Triple Crown Room and the exclusive Chenery Collection in Meadow Hall
  • A one-day only exhibit of “The Penny Chenery Room” featuring her designer clothes, the oil portrait of her mother and other family heirlooms
  • VIP tram tours of the historic barns with celebrity narrators (additional fee)
  • The “Foaling Shed Shuttle” running to Secretariat’s birthing stall
  • A silent auction, birthday cake, food concessions and more

The full-day ticket includes all of the above, plus a special evening program from 4 – 8 pm. It will feature a cocktail reception in Meadow Hall mansion with live jazz; a trio of custom-designed Secretariat birthday cakes created by nationally acclaimed Virginia baker Amanda Richardson, who has been featured on The Food Network; a special memorial tribute to members of the Meadow Stable team; a silent and live auction of rare Secretariat items; and a champagne toast at Secretariat’s foaling shed.

A major highlight of the evening program will be the interactive panel discussion on “Disney’s Secretariat: Fact and Fiction” with Kate Chenery Tweedy, Steve Haskin and Otto Thorwarth. Guests will get an insider’s perspective of the differences between the silver screen portrayal and the actual events.

The full day ticket price is $70 per person and includes a commemorative Secretariat champagne glass.

The Secretariat 50th Birthday Celebration is presented by the Secretariat Birthplace Tours of The Meadow Event Park and A portion of the proceeds will benefit the Secretariat Heritage Center Barn Restoration Fund. In addition to Colonial Downs Racetrack, event sponsors include Caroline County Department of Economic Development and Tourism, the Virginia Thoroughbred Association and Hometown Realty of Ashland.

Fans should also mark their calendars for Secretariat birthday festivities in Christopher Chenery’s nearby hometown of Ashland, Virginia during the weekend. On Friday night March 27, there will be a welcoming reception from 5 – 7 pm. at the Iron Horse Restaurant. On Sunday March 29, there will be a Big Red Breakfast with Kate Tweedy at Hanover Tavern, followed by a tour of Ashland and a visit to Penny Chenery’s grave at Woodland Cemetery.


Tickets to the Secretariat 50th Birthday Celebration at The Meadow Event Park are available HERE.

Tickets for the welcoming reception on March 27 and the breakfast and Chenery tour on March 29 may be purchased at

For a list of hotels in the Ashland/Doswell area, see