Shirley Bennett-Anderson, Founder and CEO
Penny Chenery believed that her horse had what it took to win the Triple Crown and she never gave up, even against all odds. She believed when others didn't, including her own family. She went up against the "Big Boys" and won. Penny pursued her father's life-long Kentucky Derby dream. She made it her dream and that dream came true beyond her wildest imaginations.
Penny's dream spawned a new dream for Shirley. Shirley met Penny and her daughter, Kate at her first Kentucky Derby in 2011 just 2 1/2 weeks before Secretariat's Glory was born. She recalls the thrill of meeting her, "I told her that I owned a daughter from his last crop and asked her to autograph a picture of Secretariat's Fire. Penny then asked who she was in foal to, and her eyes widened when I said Midnight Lute. Her response was, "That ought to be a real good one...keep me posted". Penny knew the name Midnight Lute because he is a fourth generation Secretariat progeny.She made it her dream and that dream came true beyond her wildest imaginations.
As Eclipse Champion he won the Breeder's Cup Sprint two years in a row, setting new records for speed and distance-won-by records. His sire, Real Quiet added to the championship gene pool he missed the Triple Crown by a photo-finish". Later that fall, Penny met Secretariat's Glory when he was four months old at the third annual Secretariat's Festival in Paris, Kentucky. Shirley feels that is an extra-special time for her because Glory is in training for his first race later this fall during his grandfather's 40th anniversary year of his 1973 Triple Crown Victory. To her knowledge, there's only one other grandson in the United States who will able to run at this time in history, so 2013 marks a time to celebrate and what better way to honor Secretariat than with the racing debut of his closest family members. Glory's pasture mate, My Storm Trooper, who is a great-great-grandson of Secretariat is also in training and will also go the his first race this year. Shirley has thirteen Secretariat descendants to follow in their "hoof-steps" over the next several years, including yearlings by Majestic Warrior and Munnings, and another grandchild due this spring by Leroidesanimaux (sire of 2011 Kentucky Derby/2013 Dudai World Cup winner, Animal Kingdom). Other foals due this spring are sired by General Quarters (Sky Mesa) & American Lion (Tiznow). Next year's crop are sired by City Place (Storm Cat), Cowtown Cat (Distorted Humor), & Telling (A.P.Indy).
My personal goal is to open the door to the world of racing to other women who love thoroughbred horses and want to participate in a team effort to support other women who want to share their dream of competing in the top races in America and eventually around the world. I have joined forces with Penny Morrell as the base foundation from which to build an International Secretariat Sisterhood team. The membership program will have several participation levels from which to choose.
Diane Lynch, Partner
As an avid Secretariat fan, Diane Lynch attended the Secretariat Festival in Paris Kentucky with her family in 2011, where her son, Brady Torrance, photographed Secretariat’s grandson who participated in the weekend horse show activities as the youngest living Secretariat descendant. Secretariat’s Glory paraded alongside his mother, Secretariat’s Fire, who is one of two last producing Secretariat daughters in the world. The fans were enamored by the handsome bay colt, sired by Midnight Lute, a fourth generation Secretariat descendant. Brady’s photographs have been used to promote the mission.
Diane learned about the philanthropic effort to save the life of a son of Hall of Fame thoroughbred, Deputy Minister’s life which initiated Shirley’s “Breeding With A Mission” program with the goal of helping “Keep the Secretariat Legacy Alive”. Five years and 17 Secretariat descendants later Diane continues to support the concept and the Secretariat Family Tree continues to grow.
She became the first founding member and now supports the program as a Racing Shares Partner in a significant way. She has also promoted the “Breeding With A Mission” for this coming spring’s fifth foal crop. Diane has followed Shirley’s mission since 2011 which was a busy and eventful year for Shirley’s new late-in-life venture. She attended her first Kentucky Derby where she met Penny Chenery; she attended her first Secretariat Festival where she introduced Penny to Secretariat’s Fire and Secretariat’s Glory. During his two-year-old training at Gulfstream Park, FL, Secretariat’s Glory was on the Kentucky Derby contender list until a tendon issue side-lined his racing career. He broke his Maiden and finished third two times before coming home for a year’s rest. The latest vet report confirms he has healed and can return to training next year. The whole Crown of Glory team is excited about Secretariat’s Fire last foal…another grandson sired by Leroidesanimaux (sire of Animal Kingdom), who will make his racing debut in December under the tutelage of Todd Pletcher. His father JJ has laid his racing foundation at Payton Training Center in Ocala, FL.
Jackie Comeau, Partner
Jackie Comeau always loved horses as far back as she could remember. Her first recollection of a horse is visiting her great uncle’s farm in New Brunswick, CN. He owned a few farm horses but one really stood out and connected with her, a big black stallion named Prince. He would come right up to the fence to greet her. It was at that moment, her love for horses was sealed.
Recently inspired by Secretariat’s story, she sought and read as much as she could in an attempt to seek answers to questions about this magnificent horse and the people who surrounded him. She attended festivals in his honor in VA and met some of the very same people she read about who surrounded him. It was during this time that her love of thoroughbreds came alive. She started to follow the races and tracks Secretariat ran during his Triple Crown campaign. During this time, she fell in love with Saratoga, NY where she visits to watch early morning workouts and races during the summer meet, as well as visiting other racetracks up and down the East Coast.
Gary Peterson, Partner
Gary Peterson didn’t grow up following horses too much (although he always looked forward to the Spike Jones parody on the radio on Kentucky Derby Day), so his passion for horses and horse racing is a recent acquisition. It was the dual exposure to the Secretariat movie and his girlfriend Jackie (another Majestic Partners founder), that started Gary down the road into horse ownership. While the Triple Crown runs of I’ll Have Another and California Chrome stoked his interest, it was only after several trips to Florida to meet Shirley and the horses that he made the commitment to help find the partnership.
As an engineer, Gary brings the balancing “dispassionate view” to the partnership, offering the “outside” perspective to the mix. While all the partners are committed to the best interest of the horse, Gary provides the calming opinion to help balance the passion of the other partners.
Carlos Basilio Santiago, Farm Manager
Carlos worked for one of Ocala’s premier thoroughbred training centers. and breeding stable in Ocala, FL where he learned the trade of caring for and training yearlings and two-year-old thoroughbreds. He learned the A to Z version of caring for the horse from the ground up beginning with cleaning stalls, bathing/grooming/clipping from weanlings to two-year-olds.
He currently works with weanlings, yearlings, and broodmares for Crown of Glory Racing, LLC. Carlos has a special way of working with each individual horse and a natural way of communicating with them, so we jokingly call him the “Horse Whisperer”.
He also has multiple skills that every stable owner hopes to find in one person. He builds fences, repairs roofs, builds roof trusses, and is very knowledgeable about landscaping, oh yes, he even does mechanic work on the farm equipment and our personal vehicles. At the end of a hard day’s work, he plays guitar and sings songs in Spanish. He has become an important team member of our Secretariat Descendant family.
Rose Sweeney, Web Graphics and Social Media
Rose Sweeney grew up in a large family with 6 siblings. She was raised in the Midwest, but her ancestry is rooted in Ireland & Scotland. As a youngster, she had an insatiable passion for dogs, which, later in life, prompted her to start breeding quality bred European Line German Shepherds. Now, after the birth of her second grandchild, she divides her most cherished activities between her dogs and her grandchildren. She touts that “Life is sweeter since her two beautiful boys arrived." She thoroughly enjoys spending time with her only son and daughter in law. Sharing life with her “sheps” and baby “Enzo” is the light of her life.
Glory Meadows is so proud to include Rose as part of our team. In fact, we wouldn’t exist today without her dedication to the cause over the last three years. While Shirley was helping to create new branches for the “Secretariat Family Tree” through the “Breeding With A Mission” program.
Rose provided the fertilizer to nourish that tree by designing the website, posting pictures, keeping current racing posts and other pertinent news like the arrival of new foals, etc. Through Facebook, she helped us gain international exposure for our mission. Using all the skills Rose acquired through her professional career in the Insurance industry, combined with her natural aptitude and artistic talent, she began building websites. She has spent the last five years helping friends and associates covering a variety of topics from Secretariat descendants, Thoroughbred Racing, German Shepherds, Restaurants, Domestic Violence, German Shepherd Rescue, and her most passionate Service dogs all thru volunteering for non-profit organizations. Her dedication to finding the best venue to portray our mission is second-to-none. Her extensive and dynamic portfolio of websites demonstrates the diversity of her experience which gave Shirley an idea of what she could expect as the end product. The result was a polished professional look which conveys all the necessary elements of who we are, why we began the mission, what we hope to accomplish, & where we hope to go in the future. Rose helps us with our Facebook fan page, and other collateral materials like newsletters, posters/flyers and & mail-out materials to help keep our supporters informed.
All in all, to sum it up, Rose started with Shirley’s goals and dreams and put together an awesome website presence. She’s been the backbone of our social media exposure. What a gal! We all love her! By the way, if you are in need of a website or any of the above things mentioned here, please feel free to contact us....Rose's Resume