Secretariat Monument Fundraising Hits the Homestretch with Major Grant

Secretariat Monument Fundraising Hits the Homestretch with Major Grant from the Richard S. Reynolds Foundation

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 11.5 feet tall and 21 feet long, is the largest sculpture of the legendary champion on record. It will be the first and only statue of Secretariat in his home state.

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 where thousands of people can see him every day.” 

Ms. Martin noted the robust support for the project from the Ashland/Central Virginia region and from Secretariat fans everywhere.  “But we’re not across the finish line yet,” she stated. “We encourage folks to make a donation soon so we can wrap this up and bring our hometown hero home to stay.”

See for donation information.

Secretariat’s Monumental Mileage! The Secretariat Racing Into History monument has really racked up the miles on its Triple Crown Tour. Jocelyn Russell says that she and her tireless crew – husband Michael and faithful Aussie, Alis – have traveled close to 3,500 miles since they left the foundry in Oklahoma to come to Ashland in late March. From Ashland in late April, they traveled to the Kentucky Derby, the Preakness in Baltimore, the Belmont Stakes in Elmont, New York and to Saratoga, New York. We are looking forward to Secretariat coming HOME to Ashland in August!

Highlights from Preakness & Belmont
Jocelyn Russell, Robin Hutton and Kristen Douglas-Seitz with the Pimlico trumpeters for the Preakness Secretariat races across the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge in New York
Jocelyn poses with the original saddle worn by Secretariat in the Belmont. It is part of a traveling exhibition hosted by the National Museum of Racing Hall of Fame
Kate Tweedy had the honor of announcing Riders Up
Secretariat Monument Is “On Track” for More Appearances  
Q: Where is the monument currently “stabled?”
A:  He is at the Saratoga Race Track in New York during the opening of the new Secretariat exhibit at the National Racing Museum Hall of Fame
Q: When will Secretariat “turn for home” and be on the road to Virginia? 
A: Secretariat will return to Virginia August 8-9 in Middleburg for special events
Q:  When will Secretariat come home to Ashland?
A:   He will “hightail” it back to Ashland on Aug. 10 and possibly make one more special appearance out of town on August 12.  Then he will be on display at the  Ashland Town Hall while the fundraising reaches its final goal and the Richard S. Reynolds Plaza site is completed for his permanent placement. Visit our website for more Triple Crown Tour photos.  See info on more upcoming events this summer!
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