In conjunction with the 2013 Secretariat Festival and direct from the Secretariat Archives, we are proud to offer for auction a vintage photograph of the Meadow Stable champion that contains the extremely rare hand-signed signature of Secretariat's renowned deceased groom Eddie Sweat as well as his late exercise rider Jimmy Gaffney.
Eddie Sweat was Secretariat's trusted groom throughout the champion's racing career and the shared bond between them was unmistakeable. Sweat was entrusted with the best horses in trainer Lucien Laurin's barn and groomed both Secretariat and Riva Ridge during the heyday of the Meadow Racing Stable. He remained universally respected as one of racing's finest horsemen until his death in 1999.
Jim Gaffney was a Meadow Stable exercise rider and intimately involved with the day-to-day activities of Secretariat in 1972-1973. His experiences with Secretariat are chronicled and verified in William Nack’s book, “Secretariat, The Making of A Champion”, as well as Raymond Woolfe’s book, “SECRETARIAT”, published in 1974. Mr. Gaffney was instrumental in the documentation of Secretariat's horse shoes and other memorabilia and continued to share his experiences and affection for the great champion until his death in 2010.
The vintage 5" x 7" photograph captures Secretariat during a morning workout at Belmont Park with his exercise rider Jim Gaffney aboard the chestnut colt. The photo headlined with "SECRETARIAT, Triple Crown Winner, James Gaffney up" contains the actual hand-signed signatures of Mr. Gaffney and Mr. Sweat as part of the subsequent personalization "All the Best Secretariat & Jim Gaffney & Groom Eddie Sweat." The photo has guaranteed provenance and has been sleeved and kept in protected storage in the continued possession of either Mr. Gaffney or the Secretariat Archives since its acquisition.
The rarity and uniqueness of the Eddie Sweat signature makes this a wonderful investment opportunity for any Secretariat fan or serious sports autograph collector. We estimate there are less than a dozen authenticated Eddie Sweat signatures in existence. The winning bidder will be provided with an accompanying certificate of authenticity and will have the option to have the photo additionally hand-signed by Secretariat's owner Penny Chenery and jockey Ron Turcotte.
This item sold for $2761.11, thank you to all bidders.
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