The Yellow Jacket

The Student Voice of Randolph-Macon College

The Yellow Jacket

The Yellow Jacket

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Secretariat Races Into Ashland

Secretariat Races into History in Ashland, Virginia on March 30th, 2024

A wonderful dedication ceremony, along with the birthday celebration of Secretariat the horse on March 30th , marks a turning point for Ashland, VA. The “Secretariat Racing into History” monument has been installed in the Reynold’s Family Plaza at the corner of England Street and Railroad Avenue in Downtown Ashland. This statue commemorates the accomplishments of the unmated racing horse, Secretariat.

March 30th has been dubbed “Secretariat Day” in Virginia’s “Center of the Universe.” Fans of Secretariat from all over the world, spanning the United States to Belgium, came to celebrate this special occasion and remembrance. This occasion included live music by local musicians as well as Bubba Johnson and the Second Zion Baptist Church Gospel Choir. After the ribbon-cutting, the people of Ashland were served cake and cupcakes to celebrate Secretariat’s 54th birthday!

The festivities started in the parking lot behind the newly installed Reynolds Family Plaza at 11 a.m. There were food trucks, vendors, and so much more to offer. Downtown Ashland was full of life as people toured the small town. Ashland placed flags that were the famous colors of Secretariat’s home, the Meadow Stable. Guests were also encouraged to wear blue and white to show their Secretariat spirit.

The ceremonial services started at 2 p.m. with opening remarks by Rita McClenny of the Virginia Tourism Corporation. President Lindgren followed, remarking on the land and legacy of Randolph-Macon in the Chenery Family. Steve Trivett followed by speaking about the importance that Secretariat will have on the town of Ashland and proclaimed that “Secretariat is everyone’s horse.” Joe Guthrie, The Commissioner of Agriculture, spoke on behalf of Governor Glenn Youngkin and expressed his appreciation for the beautiful statue. Stephanie Nixon from the Virginia Racing Commission spoke of her experiences in the derby world. Jocelyn Russel, The sculptor of “Secretariat Racing into History,” spoke briefly about the project and was then followed by “The Woman in Charge,” Kate Chenery-Tweedy. Mrs. Chenery-Tweedy gave her thanks to all the people involved in the project and expressed her excitement that Secretariat’s legacy would live on in Ashland. Alvin Mines was the last to speak. Mines worked at Meadow Stable with Secretariat in his early life as well as his racing days.

President Lindgren highlighted the significance of the site being an important addition to the town of Ashland. The Chenery family has deep ties to the Randolph-Macon community as Chris Chenery, Secretariat’s owner and breeder is an alum. Four other Chenery family members were also alumni of Randolph-Macon College, further intertwining the family to the rich culture on campus.

Funny enough, the “Secretariat Racing into History” statue has only further proven Mayor Steve Trivett’s joke that “Ashland is indeed a one-horse town.”

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Ava Kelley, Copy Editor
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