Secretariat won the Triple Crown in 1973.
Secretariat won the Triple Crown in 1973.

“Go big or go home” is a popular sports motto meant to incite teammates to bring their A-game at the next match or race. It can now be applied to the efforts of a museum that has taken on the challenge of creating the world’s largest horseshoe in honor of the world’s most famous horse, Secretariat.

On Sunday, Sept. 20, the Kentucky Derby Museum will unveil its Guinness World Record creation — World’s Largest Horseshoe — which just so happens to be an exact replica of a shoe worn by the 1973 Triple Crown champion. The super-sized horseshoe was certified just this morning for this official distinction by international authority Guinness World Records.

An original Secretariat horseshoe | Courtesy of Kentucky Derby Museum
An original Secretariat horseshoe | Courtesy of Kentucky Derby Museum

The Derby Museum partnered with the Secretariat Festival and to help bring the idea to reality, and casting and building of the shoe was a collaboration between Louisville-based Eagle Sign & Design Inc. and Thoro’bred Inc., maker of the original Secretariat shoe.

“For years, we have discussed introducing a special piece into our museum collection, and to have this unique shoe representing Secretariat is fantastic,” said Kentucky Derby Museum president Patrick Armstrong in a press release. “A horseshoe of this magnitude is iconic to our mission and has the potential to be a signature exhibit.”

The finished horseshoe is expected to weigh nearly half a ton and will reside at the Derby Museum, save for a national tour planned next summer. The unveiling party on Sunday will feature Secretariat’s owner, Penny Chenery, jockey Ron Turcotte, and exercise rider Charlie Davis.

Special VIP tickets to Sunday’s event are $99 and include a gold-edition commemorative horseshoe and a certificate of authenticity signed by the guests. Also, guests who purchase general admission tickets to the museum are welcome to attend. The event starts at 1 p.m.

Sara Havens is the Culture Editor at Insider Louisville. She's known around town as the Bar Belle and updates her blog ( daily. She's a former editor of LEO Weekly and has written for Playboy and The Alcohol Professor. Havens is the author of two books: "The Bar Belle" and "The Bar Belle Vol. 2."


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