Secretariat – hand-signed by legendary Triple Crown jockey Ron Turcotte
Oh what incredible privileges I have been offered through my career as a visual artist.
Certainly some of the most important bookmarks in my life come by the way of working with many very famous individuals. Some folks I have worked first-hand with have been called legends in their own time. Once in a millennium type people who will never be equaled.
Two of those people, just to name a couple are Dr. Jane Goodall and Star Wars creator George Lucas. Of course there are many more that you will find as you journey through this publication.
Another surprising legend I discovered while working on the Secretariat art for this project was the historic jockey Ronnie Turcotte. I soon found out that secretariat’s Triple Crown winning jockey’s career was one for the ages. Under Ron Turcotte’s expert guidance Secretariat became known as the greatest race horse of all times. The Secretariat/ Turcotte team not only won the Triple Crown but did so by recording the fastest time in all three races. In the historic Belmont race I portrayed in my painting the team won by an astonishing record 31 lengths!
Turcotte went on to become only the second jockey to win back-to-back Kentucky Derbies. He is the first jockey to win five of six consecutive Triple Crown races. In 1978 Ronnie had a career-ending fall that resulted in him becoming paraplegic.
When discussing this project with him I realized quickly his legendary sense of humor is still alive and in action today. We had a good chuckle when I spoke to him long distance at his home in New Brunswick. I needed a photo copy of something and he replied that he would have to wait for his wife to do it when she got back from shopping because he was “Too short to reach the buttons on the photo copy machine”.
Every time I need a little positive boost in my day I remember the sound of his voice and the sweet zest for life he naturally emits with his wonderful attitude.