For once, Riva Ridge shared the spotlight with his stablemate, Big Red, and in Paris, of all places. Paris, Kentucky, that is, where the annual Secretariat Festival took place and where our new book “Riva Ridge – Penny’s First Champion” made its “world debut” on September 29.
What better kick-off than to have Penny Chenery, the First Lady of Racing, signing copies of the book about the horse she called her “Golden Boy.” She credits Riva with saving Meadow Stable when it was faltering after her father’s illness and her family wanted to sell it. Riva’s winnings of $500,000 in 1971 quelled that notion and earned him the title of Champion Two-Year- Old. Penny said in our book, “Riva kept everything – the morale, the plan, the program – going until Secretariat came along to do those remarkable things. Without Riva, I can’t guarantee we would have even had Secretariat.”
At the Secretariat Festival, Penny autographed copies of our Riva book and “Secretariat’s Meadow,” along with lots of memorabilia, for over two hours. Also signing autographs for hundreds of delighted fans were Ron Turcotte, jockey, and Charlie Davis, exercise rider.
You can read more about Riva and order copies of “Riva Ridge – Penny’s First Champion” through our website at www.secretariatsmeadow.com.
In the meantime, here is a great photo of Penny with Charlie Davis at the Secretariat Festival.
And here is a photo of Penny with Ron Turcotte at the Thoroughbred Club dinner held in her honor on Sept. 30 at Keeneland.
By Leeanne Meadows Ladin
co-author of “Secretariat’s Meadow – The Land, The Family, The Legend” and “Riva Ridge – Penny’s First Champion” with Kate CheneryTweedy