Bourbon Co. Secretariat Festival Planned

Edited press release

The first Bourbon County Secretariat Festival is scheduled for Sept. 20 from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. at the Bourbon County Fair Grounds in Paris, Ky. 

“We are thrilled to have a festival officially named after the greatest Thoroughbred racehorse that ever lived,” said John Sosby, chairman of the festival committee. Sosby, who worked for Claiborne for 47 years until his retirement, managed the farm when Secretariat retired from racing and stood at stud there from 1973 until his death in 1989.

Claiborne will be the first Triple Crown Sponsor of the Festival, donating $10,000 to provide initial funding for the festivities.

The main event will be a Secretariat look-alike contest at the horse arena in the Bourbon County Fair Grounds. The process of screening candidates for the contest will begin immediately.

Cash prizes will be awarded to the winner, second, third and fourth places. A panel of prestigious judges will select winners of the contest at the end of the Festival from 4 to 6 p.m., and Penney Chenery, owner of Secretariat, will be present to award the prizes.

“I am so looking forward to attending the inaugural Festival,” said Chenery. “I hope to see many Secretariat fans share in the fun and celebration of the event.”

The Secretariat Foundation and the Center for Women in Racing, two nonprofit organizations that support the Thoroughbred racing industry, will receive proceeds from the Bourbon County Secretariat Festival.

The mission of the Secretariat Foundation is to assist and support various charities and causes within the Thoroughbred racing community. The Center for Women in Racing has a mission to assist women in the racing and breeding industries with physical, emotional, and spiritual needs while working with the retired race horses at Bethlehem Farm in Paris, Ky.

“We are excited to advance the legacy of Secretariat, an American hero who lived 16 of his 19 years at our farm,” said Hancock, managing partner of Claiborne. “Secretariat and Mrs. Chenery are the greatest representatives of the sport of horse racing, and it is truly a privilege to be a part of this inaugural event in our own community.”

Additional sponsorship levels for the Festival are available: Triple Crown ($10,000), Kentucky Derby Sponsors ($5,000), Preakness Stakes ($2,500), and Belmont Stakes ($1,000). Each sponsorship will include tickets to a dinner honoring Chenery and Secretariat Sept. 19 at the Kentucky Horse Park near Lexington.

The Secretariat Festival begins at 9 a.m., with general admission tickets sold at the gate for $5.00 per person with children under 12 admitted free.

Admission allows full access to all activities on site, including horse demonstrations, Secretariat racing films and memorabilia, the Secretariat Equine Art Show, trade booths, concessions, and the Secretariat look-alike contest.

Tours of Claiborne and the burial site of Secretariat are available through advanced ticketing. For more information on applications for the Secretariat look-alike contest, ticketing, sponsorships, and for updates on the festival events, please visit or, or call the Center for Women in Racing at (859) 987-2258.