Secretariat Festival

Gunner telling a new friend "HI!"

Howdy everyone and welcome to the Secretariat Center blog! My name is Andrea and I'm a student at Midway College. This semester, I have been blessed with the amazing opportunity to intern at the TRF - Maker's Mark Secretariat Center, an inspiring not for profit organization that reschools and adopts out ex-racehorses, a mission that truly makes a difference in the Thoroughbred racehorse industry.

This weekend, I helped spread the word and got to see our work in action! Saturday, MMSC set up a booth at the Secretariat Festival in Bourbon County. While the morning was cold and wet, the dreary whether was no indication of what was to come. The day turned out to be sunny and warm, the crowds plentiful and enthusiastic. The hours flew by and the day was one of the best experiences of my life!

We took 3 horses with us to help draw in people and show off what we have to offer. Fly Light, our mascot, has been saved from slaughter twice. Gunner Milligan made his first appearance as a mascot and did a smashing job at it, attracting admirers with his splendid coat, gentle demeanor, and his large, kind eyes. We also brought along my favorite horse at the Center, Iron Countess. She is a mild-mannered, bay, 4-year-old mare standing at 15.2 hands. She's also a comfortable ride, astoundingly soft, and related to Secretariat himself! But that's not even the best part... she's up for adoption!

The Secretariat Festival was really a sight to behold. There were vendors set up with everything Secretariat, as well as games and contests, and people from all walks of life and all across the nation and globe. People approached me from Canada, Nebraska, Georgia, Japan, etc. People were there who had been smitten about Secretariat so many years ago, as well as those who had fallen in love with him recently when the Secretariat movie came out. It felt wonderful to explain how we are making a difference and to play the role of teacher, answering questions, and sharing my knowledge of horses and passion for them with so many people.

Unfortunately, beyond the excitement of the racehorse industry, there is a dark side. These talented athletes don't always get the retirement they deserve. But the Secretariat Center is one organization working to change that. The realization that I am playing a part in that change made the whole event "awesome" in the most real sense of the word!