Many people, including my friends, call me Riva. In years past I used to correct them. But now I answer to the name because it is a great name. Riva is actually my horse, a sorrel 1998 registered appendix quarter horse mare with a great deal of speed, lots of fire and a compassionate heart. While I’ll be the first to admit that Riva and I have a lot in common and share the same spirit in many ways, Riva has her own story and it all starts with Secretariat.
Secretariat (Big Red) was foaled and raised at The Meadow Stables in Virginia. The incredible Secretariat was America’s Super Horse, Triple Crown Winner and setter of various race records which still stand today. But Secretariat had a stablemate named Riva Ridge. Riva Ridge was a fabulous racehorse in his own right – floppy ears and all.
Riva Ridge was mainly ridden by Hall of Fame jockey Ron Turcotte who also rode Secretariat. In 30 life-time starts Riva Ridge won 17 races and earned $1,111,497. In 1972 Riva won both the Kentucky Derby and the Belmont Stakes during which he defeated 9 other horses, running away to a seven-length victory. He had a championship season as a two-year-old. As a 4-year old Riva won five out of nine races, set track records four times, equaled the 1-1/8 mile track record at Suffolk Downs and set world records at the Brooklyn Handicap. He was elected to the American Racing Hall of Fame in 1998. Riva stood at stud in Kentucky for his entire breeding career until he died at age 16 of a heart attack in 1985.
Both Secretariat and Riva Ridge were owned by the remarkable Penny Chenery Tweedy and both wore the blue and white checks of Meadow Stables. Penny loved them both. But Riva Ridge was forced to walk in the shadow of Secretariat – in fact the two horses were even raced against one another and even though Secretariat won, they both succeeded in breaking records for a mile and an eighth on that same day. Penny commented, “The saddest day for me was when Riva Ridge lost to Secretariat. I have the greatest admiration for Secretariat, but I love Riva Ridge”. She nicknamed the affectionate and friendly stallion the “Golden Boy”. Riva Ridge died in 1985 at the age of 16, an unsung hero.
This story is close to my heart – Riva Ridge is my Riva’s great, great granddaddy. Riva is papered as Zipezriva and has a 7 year old dun daughter named Riva’s Little Remedy. So you see – Riva’s Remedies hails from a long line of champions. Call me what you like…
“Riva’s Healing Spirit awakens the essence that resides within each one of us
– animal or human – the heart of which connects
and aligns us with the greater spirit that heals all”
Marijke van de Water, B.Sc., DHMS
Animal Health & Nutrition Specialist
Medical Intuitive & Healer
Author & Educator
“Healing Horses Their Way!”
“Healing People The Marijke Method”