Monday, September 21, 2015

2015 Secretariat Festival

We went to the Secretariat festival last year hoping to get my quilt signed by Ron Turcotte and Penny Chenery. Unfortunately, the day we were leaving, the festival posted the Ms. Chenery was sick and wouldn't be there. We went anyway and got the quilt signed by Mr. Turcotte. This year was just the opposite. Ron Turcotte was injured earlier this year in a car accident and was unable to attend.

I went online and pre-purchased an autograph token for Ms. Chenery. You pay a little more but everything goes to support various charity organizations, so I don't mind. This also puts you in line first. You don't have to wait in line with the masses.

We got to the event at 9:00 a.m., and we saw the Superman Secretariat statue they had out front, which was new from last year. It was too cute and silly for words and I had to have a picture of it. I went into the building where all the signed merchandise and memorabilia is and got my token. I was amazed to find out that was #1. Ms. Chenery didn't start signing autographs until 11:45 a.m. so I went outside and enjoyed the beautiful weather and watched some of the horse demonstrations. I have to admit those miniature horses are just too cute for words!

I enjoyed the demonstrations until 11:30 a.m. or so then I headed back inside the hall. The hall was packed with people and line was already to the door. I got up to the front and a lady was announcing that the line for the pre-sale autograph token holders would line up in front of her and I slowly moved my way through all the people who now had to back up for me. I admit I felt a bit smug while my evil twin inside yelled, "Get out of the way! I'm first!"

There was a nice couple behind me, who I asked if they would take pictures of Ms. Chenery signing my quilt. You have to have proof right? Anyone could write her name on it and say she really signed it. Besides, now that I have good pictures of Ron Turcotte and Penny Chenery signing my quilt, I may print them on fabric and iron them onto the back of the quilt. I held up my quilt to the people in line and I got a lot of nice compliments. One lady said that she now felt totally inadequate just getting photos of Secretariat signed and another gentleman asked me if I designed the entire thing. Yes. Yes, I did.

Ms. Chenery finally came in and when she got comfortable, I got to kick off the autograph signing. I held the quilt up so she could see it and I explained that it took me about a year and a half to get it done. She said it was beautiful and she seemed happy to sign it. Thank you Ms. Chenery!

The Secretariat Festival is now in its 8th year and seems to get bigger each year. There's a lot of retired jockeys now that do autographs and you wish you could sit with all of them and hear their stories. Charlie Davis, was Secretariat's exercise rider, who is on Ms. Chenery's right in the above pictures, is a very kind man that you could listen to for hours. There's a lot of memorabilia there too if you want something unique from Secretariat, Seattle Slew and other famous race horses. There's also tours to some of the breeding farms in the area such as Claiborne farms and Adena Springs Farms. And of course, there's the Kentucky Derby Museum and the Kentucky Horse Park nearby which always have things going on there. All in all, it was a really beautiful day to spend in Kentucky and to meet a very kind lady. Ms. Chenery, I hope you have many more years to share your wonderful story of the Big Red horse.

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