Not many people can proudly say that their country had the most famous racing horse. Well, people from Kentucky can — for almost 50 years, Secretariat has been a hero and the proof that the perfect horse really exists. He was a wonderful, strong horse who unfortunately lived only for 19 years. Well, the people of Kentucky made sure that no one forgets him!
The big bronze monument was presented to the people of Kentucky on Saturday at Keeneland. It represents the horse at a Kentucky Derby with jockey Ron Turcotte since he was a Derby winner. The big statue will stand proudly at the center of the city.
The statue was revealed by Meadow Stable in front of the sales pavilion. Actually, in this state, every year, there is the Secretariat Festival. This year was a little different and special since the monument was presented, and more than 200 people came to see it. Its weight is more than 3,800 pounds, and it looks like the horse still has his fans.
People were coming to touch the statue and see those muscles. The horse is a legend, and they never got a chance to touch him while he lived. The sculptor of this amazing statue, Jocelyn Russell, did a great job since the horse is standing only on two legs. He did the statue that way so that the Secretariat can be remembered in the position he won the Derby in 1973.
Secretariat had beautiful color, chestnut-like, and therefore, the color of the statue is bronze, so it looks almost the same as he did in real life. This was one of the main problems for the sculptor. She was afraid the color wouldn’t look like it should, and she said that so many times.
Her fear was unnecessary since the people from Kentucky told her she had done a very good job. She had a little more than a year, and she built this amazing statue from a maquette that was only 10 inches in size. The statue she presented to people is actually larger than the horse was in real life, and it was constructed of polyurethane foam. After that, the construction was covered with clay, and the third step was to pour the bronze.
They brought the statue on Thursday at Keeneland, and it was placed near the Keeneland library. It came from Norman, Okla, and it took them three days to bring it. That was not an easy job since the weight of the statue is 3,300 pounds, and it was covered with nylon straps. He was moved from the library on Friday night and waited for the moment of reveal planned for Saturday.
This journey from Oklahoma was legendary, and everyone who witnessed it confirmed that. Russell herself said how many people were asking for photos, and they would always take their phones when they were near the horse. The interesting thing is that most of the driving actually did Russell’s husband, who is also her partner. You may already know him; it’s Michael Dubail. They did have one not so good moment, and it happened when they rolled over wrinkles in the road. The good thing is that Secretariat didn’t move even then. He was proud during his life, and he remains steady now.
The whole state was involved in bringing this monument, and Russell actually said that this project belonged to everybody. Even the government was involved in showing respect to this amazing horse.
The initial version of this monument was created by a home builder, Donamire Farm. Also, Alec Campbell and Tracy Farmer, actual horse owners, had a role in creating the statue since they are the ones who helped the author to bring her vision into life.
Behind the founding of this statue stays Triangle Foundation, and the designer of landscape features is Barrett Partners Inc., which never disclosed its cost. The whole statue cost $300,000, and that includes everything — the sculpture and landscaping.
Actually, the city plans to rebuild the nearby area and parking also, and that will cost $753,900, and its Triangle Foundation will not bear the expenses. The federal Transportation Alternative Program will give $603,120, and the Lexington-Frankfort Scenic Corridor will contribute with $58,500 while the Commonwealth of Kentucky will invest $92,280 in this project.