Secretariat Park to commemorate 50th anniversary of Triple Crown Championship

Published 12:00 pm Friday, September 23, 2022

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A celebration to mark the start of the Secretariat Park project in downtown Paris, Kentucky is planned for Friday, September 23. The park is being built to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the horse’s Triple Crown Championship in 1973.

Sculptor Jocelyn Russell of Washington State will unveil her small-scale bronze model of Secretariat running the field at Claiborne Farm during the celebration. Also featured during the event will be Kentucky artist Jaime Corum, who is painting a three-story mural of Secretariat at the park. Work on that mural is scheduled to start in October.

The project is funded by a group of Bourbon County citizens, the Hancock family of Claiborne Farm and Blue Grass Federal bank in Paris. People around the country have also been making donations to be part of this historic project.

“Secretariat will forever have a lasting influence on Claiborne Farm for many reasons,” said Walker Hancock, president of Claiborne. “It is wonderful that people from all around the globe can visit our town with this initiative being a great way to further memorialize a sports legend.”

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Secretariat Park, at 525 Main Street, will be transformed into a green garden with lush landscaping, benches and accent lighting. The centerpiece is to be a life-sized bronze statue of Secretariat romping in the field, which is being sculpted by Russell in Lexington. She says her inspiration for the Paris bronze is a photo taken by the celebrated thoroughbred photographer Tony Leonard.

The park will serve as an homage to Secretariat’s career as the most famous thoroughbred in history. The project will be completed on November 11, 2023, which is 50 years to the day after Secretariat arrived at Claiborne Farm to start his breeding career.