NewsCovering Kentucky


Secretariat Park planned for downtown Paris

Posted at 9:46 AM, Sep 08, 2022
and last updated 2022-09-08 09:46:29-04

PARIS, Ky. (LEX 18) — A downtown Paris business owner thinks big things are in the works for downtown Paris.

Bobby Shiflet owns Frames on Main Gallery. He sells photos of the 1973 Triple Crown winner, Secretariat.

"I've had a business on Main Street for 27 years," Shiflet said. "Because I sell photographs of Secretariat, I tell people he's Elvis of the horse world. He really is."

"He really was America's horse, and there are so many people that look up to him," said Walker Hancock, president of Claiborne Farms, where Secretariat is buried.

Secretariat is no stranger to Paris and Claiborne Farms.

"Some people want to get married over the top of his grave," Hancock said. Other people break down and cry when they see it. It truly is amazing what this horse did to so many people's lives."

There are statues of Secretariat throughout Kentucky, including a roundabout in Lexington. Shiflet hopes what is planned for downtown Paris will give people better access to honoring the Triple Crown winner.

"This is their number one sports hero," Shiflet says about the Secretariat's popularity. "Secretariat is their number one sports hero."

Shiflet says the plan is for the statue to be unveiled in November of 2023, which will also mark 50 years since his Triple Crown win.

Tony Leonard's photo of Secretariat running at Claiborne is what will be used to design the statue.