The saddle Ron Turcotte used while riding Secretariat to victory in the 1973 Triple Crown has been acquired by The Jim Irsay Collection and will be on display Mar. 4 at the Downtown Las Vegas Events Center during a free, one-night-only performance of The Jim Irsay Band and exhibition of The Jim Irsay Collection.
Irsay acquired the saddle from the now 81-year-old Turcotte.
“This special saddle represents a most magical time in my racing career and its personal significance to me and my family goes beyond words,” Turcotte said from his home in New Brunswick, Canada. “I have had the privilege of keeping it safe and secure for nearly 50 years, and now it’s time to let others enjoy the treasures in my collection as well. I am grateful to The Jim Irsay Collection for recognizing the saddle’s historical importance and making it and the Secretariat story available to current and future generations.”
Irsay, owner of the NFL’s Indianapolis Colts, has assembled a collection of instruments and items owned and used by some of the greatest artists in music history, including Bob Dylan, The Beatles, Prince, James Brown, Eric Clapton, Sir Elton John, Johnny Cash, Jerry Garcia, Les Paul, Bo Diddley, David Gilmour, Jim Morrison, Pete Townshend, Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, Kurt Cobain and John Coltrane.
His collection also includes historic items like an 1823 William J. Stone printing of the Declaration of Independence; artifacts and signed documents from numerous U.S. Presidents; handwritten documents and artifacts from women’s suffrage pioneer Susan B. Anthony; a Jackie Robinson game-used bat from 1953 (the founding year of the Colts); and Muhammad Ali’s championship belt from his victory over George Foreman in the 1974 “Rumble in the Jungle” and his boxing shoes from the 1975 “Thrilla’ in Manilla” vs. Joe Frazier.
The Mar. 4 event is free and open to the public, but tickets are required. To reserve a ticket, visit jimirsaycollection.com.
Irsay, who regularly loans items in the collection out to museums and non-profits, has already hosted free exhibitions of the collection in Nashville, Washington, D.C., Austin, Los Angeles, New York City, Chicago, Indianapolis and San Francisco, with more dates planned for 2023.