I really did enjoy reading Chet’s blog this morning and some of the interesting facts about the speed and agility of Falcons and how important it is for leaders to be agile and decisive in leading others. However, I will exercise an option we all have when it’s your turn in the saddle and having the privilege of sharing your own thoughts and interpretation of Chet’s daily blog.
So today I want to share a story about another animal that was recognized for its speed and agility, Secretariat, one of the greatest horses of all time! He became the first Triple Crown winner in 25 years and his record-breaking victory in the Belmont Stakes, which he won by 31 lengths, is widely regarded as one of the greatest races in history.
After his racing career he was retired and brought back to Claiborne Farms in Paris Kentucky, which is right outside Lexington Ky. I was attending the University of Kentucky on a football scholarship and often responsible for showing new football recruits around the campus, the city of Lexington and the historic thoroughbred farms around Lexington. One of those stops was Claiborne Farms and getting a chance to see the greatest of all time, Secretariat. Trust me, you don’t have to know anything about horses or horse racing to appreciate seeing this magnificent 1,200 lbs., 16’2 hands high, Thoroughbred Champion. We often got lucky enough, to catch Eddie Sweat, the man (the Groom) responsible for the care of Secretariat walking him around the paddock. He would allow the perspective UK football recruit to get a picture with Secretariat, the Champion! You can bet we were selling those recruits on being another great champion at UK, at least that was the line from our Coaching staff! I never tired of seeing this beautiful historic farm, Secretariat, Eddie Sweat the Groom and how he lovingly cared for Secretariat.
I can still hear the CBS Commentator Chic Anderson screaming into the microphone at the Belmont Stakes where Secretariat won his triple Crown….
“Secretariat is widening now! He is moving like a tremendous machine! It’s Secretariat by 12, Secretariat by 14 lengths, it’s 20 lengths’…. this unbelievable an amazing performance!” Look it up on YouTube, it’s an incredible sight to see!
When Secretariat died in October of 1989, they did an autopsy to record the vital organs of the horse for insurance purposes. What they discovered is the fact that Secretariat had a heart that weighed an incredible 22 lb.! The largest heart ever recorded to date was Bold Ruler’s, (Sire of Secretariat), who had a 13 lb. heart.
They say the longest journey a leader will ever make, is the 18” from your head to your heart. If you expect to lead others, you better look deep within your Heart, and you can bet, you’re going to need a 22lb heart to lead like a Champion! Leaders are believer’s and Leaders are connectors! You connect with Heart! How big is your heart?