Louisville, KY (Aug. 24, 2015) – The Kentucky Derby Museum together with the 2015 Secretariat Festival and Secretariat.com have formally applied to Guinness World Records for the honor of creating the World’s Largest Horseshoe. An exact replica of a shoe worn by Secretariat, the 1973 Triple Crown Champion, will be unveiled at the Museum Sept. 20 at 1 p.m.
“For years, we have discussed introducing a special piece into our Museum collection and to have this unique shoe representing Secretariat is fantastic,” Kentucky Derby Museum President Patrick Armstrong said. “A horseshoe of this magnitude is iconic to our mission and has the potential to be a signature exhibit. Joining forces with Secretariat.com and the Secretariat Festival was the catalyst that made this idea into a reality. We were able to acquire one of Secretariat’s actual shoes for the base mold and gain the project management experience of Leonard Lusky, president of Secretariat.com, who also oversaw the development and installation of the Barbaro statue that greets guests in front of the Museum and Churchill Downs.”
Secretariat’s winning stride at the 1973 Belmont Stakes finish line, an astounding 31 lengths ahead of his rivals, punctuated a record-breaking Triple Crown and left a lasting imprint of raw power, speed and stamina on the sport of Thoroughbred racing, an enduring image that would reverberate throughout generations and transform into an epic hoof print in history. Now that print will be forever immortalized and commemorated.
The casting of the shoe was the collaboration of Louisville-based Eagle Sign & Design Inc. and Thoro’bred Inc., maker of the original Secretariat shoe worn during his celebrated racing career. Guinness standards were followed from start to finish in the creation of the shoe, and Thoro’bred President Edwin Kinney offered a sizable donation of aircraft aluminum, the very same alloy used in the original shoe. The finished piece is expected to weigh nearly half a ton. The Museum will formally announce the result of its record-breaking attempt during the event on Sept. 20.
The horseshoe’s permanent home will be at the Museum, but the exhibit, including a video component, is expected to travel around the nation during the summer of 2016.
“Eagle Sign and Design is proud to be a partner on this unique and exciting project,” Eagle Sign and Design Sales and Marketing Coordinator Matt King said. “We knew we would have some ‘big shoes’ to fill by producing this record-breaking replica. Created at our in-house foundry and in conjunction with the Kentucky Derby Museum makes this a local project that our community will enjoy for many years to come.”
The horseshoe’s debut will be the centerpiece of a special event at the Museum, with several members of the Secretariat team expected to attend, including owner Penny Chenery and exercise rider Charlie Davis. A limited number of special VIP tickets for the event are available for $99, representing Secretariat’s win in the 99th running of the Kentucky Derby. These tickets will include a numbered, gold-edition commemorative horseshoe and a special certificate of authenticity signed by the team, the first opportunity to take photos of the proposed World’s Largest Horseshoe and admission to all Museum exhibits. A special excursion package is available from the Secretariat Festival to transport Lexington-based guests to the Museum for the day. Tickets can be purchased at both www.derbymuseum.org and www.Secretariat.com starting today. Guests who purchase general admission to the Museum are also invited to attend the event.
“The World’s Largest Horseshoe is the perfect way to introduce the Secretariat Festival to Louisville, where we have so many wonderful fans,” said Chenery. “I like thought of fans who will travel to see it, and I think it is truly special that Secretariat’s place in history will be honored in this way.”
Visitors may have the opportunity to meet with the team and get autographs for additional fees, with one outside item permitted during the autograph session. Additional items can be purchased from the Museum’s Finish Line Gift Shop, including event-related products as well as Secretariat and Kentucky Derby memorabilia.
An expanded collection of Secretariat items and artifacts will also be exhibited at the Museum during the event.
“The horseshoe is a piece that will not only commemorate Secretariat’s impact on racing but will also expand the Secretariat Festival beyond Bourbon County and garner deserved attention for the treasure that is the equine heritage of Kentucky,” said Lusky. “It was such an honor to be part of this project.”
The Secretariat Festival is an annual public civic event in Paris, Kentucky that celebrates the legacy of the legendary Thoroughbred and the horse racing heritage of the Bluegrass. It returns in 2015 for its eighth season Sept. 18-20.
# # #
About Kentucky Derby Museum The Kentucky Derby Museum is a 501 (c) 3 non-profit museum in Louisville, Ky., dedicated to celebrating and sharing the Kentucky Derby experience. Visit us online at www.derbymuseum.org and follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.