I’ve been seeing this poster all over the place lately. And everytime I look at it, my eyes prickle with tears. I couldn’t even explain to Steve without choking up.
You see, Secretariat was my first love.
I was wee, but I still have very vivid memories of jumping up and down and screaming with my mom as Secretariat won the Belmont Stakes by 31 lengths, becoming the first Triple Crown winner in 25 years. (We weren’t actually there, however. We watched on TV in California. Here’s the film of the race — it never fails to give me chills.)
I begged my mom to take me to Claiborne Farm so I could meet Secretariat. I just assumed the grooms would be happy to let me ride him. Unfortunately, Claiborne was closed to the public at that time, but I did visit Spendthrift Farm. (I did see Nashua, who was quite old. Unlike Secretariat, he lived to the ripe old age of 30.)
I obsessively followed Secretariat’s children as they tried to repeat his success — Lady’s Secret, Risen Star, General Assembly, etc. He turned out to be much better at siring broodmares than stakeswinning racehorses, however. (I like to think of him as a doting grandpa!)
And when he died? I was so shocked I couldn’t even cry.
The film may be more about Penny Chenery than Secretariat, but that’s okay. Her story is amazing, too. See the trailer here.
Any other Secretariat fans out there? Other equine/non-human first loves? Do share!
[Cross-posted from Livejournal]