For release: June 14, 2023
Secretariat For Virginia Committee Reaches Homestretch in Fundraising Goal for Secretariat Monument in Ashland
The Secretariat For Virginia Committee of the Ashland Museum has announced a major advancement toward its fundraising goal of $695,000 to place the “Secretariat Racing Into History” bronze monument by renowned sculptor Jocelyn Russell in downtown Ashland.
“We are thrilled to report that we have reached $550,000 in total donations, grants, pledges and in-kind contributions,” said Kate Chenery Tweedy, chair of the SECVA Committee. “We have achieved this milestone thanks to a substantial grant of $200,000 from the Richard S. Reynolds Foundation. These funds will be allocated to creating the Richard S. Reynolds Plaza for the Secretariat monument.”
The selected site is located on the campus of Randolph-Macon College, across from the Ashland/Hanover Visitors Center at the Amtrak station. The bronze statue, at 12 feet tall and 21 feet long, is the largest sculpture of the legendary champion on record. It will be the first and only monument of Secretariat in his home state.
“We are extremely grateful to the Reynolds family for helping our vision get closer to becoming a reality,” Ms. Tweedy said. “Their timing was especially helpful, coming during the 50th anniversary celebration of Secretariat’s Triple Crown,” Ms. Tweedy said.
The Reynolds Foundation said in a statement: “Those of us in the Reynolds family are proud to be associated with this tribute to Secretariat, especially because David P. Reynolds, our father and uncle, bred, owned and raced Tabasco Cat, a great-grandson of Secretariat, who won both the Preakness and Belmont Stakes in 1994. As everyone knows, Secretariat was one of the greatest thoroughbreds of all time and also one of Virginia’s greatest sons.”
Ann Martin, president of the Ashland Museum, a 501(c)(3) organization, said, “This generous grant from the Reynolds Foundation will benefit our community and Central Virginia in many ways. Just think of the tourism and educational value that will be generated by having Secretariat right here in downtown Ashland. This is a highly visible and accessible site where thousands of people can see him every day.”
Ms. Martin noted that Ashland was chosen as the monument location due to the longstanding ties with the Chenery family. The founder of Meadow Stable, Christopher Chenery, grew up in the town, attended Randolph-Macon and later founded nearby Meadow Stable where Secretariat was born, raised and first trained.
“We’ve had robust support for this project from the Ashland and Central Virginia region and from Secretariat fans everywhere,” said Ms. Martin. “But we’re not across the finish line yet. We encourage folks to make a donation soon so we can bring our hometown hero home to stay.”
The Secretariat monument has been traveling across the country on the “Triple Crown Tour” for weeks, logging close to 3,500 miles and garnering enormous media attention.
For additional information on the Secretariat monument project, please see www.SecretariatforVirginia.com and www.ashlandmuseum.org.