The 95-year-old owner of Secretariat, and advocate for horse racing and the Thoroughbred, Helen “Penny” Chenery, passed away on September 16, 2017. She has been the owner of the greatest horse of all times, and that’s how her name will be remembered. In 1967, Penny took over her fathers Meadow Stable, and she worked very hard to learn as much as she can including taking advices from more experienced farm managers, reading racing publications, etc. She was fighting to keep her father’s legacy alive, but the farm was losing lots of money.
Things went better for Meadow Stable in 1971, thanks to a colt named Riva Ridge, who became the best young horse of the year. Later, another young horse from Meadow Stable accomplished the same success as Riva Ridge. It was Secretariat!
In 1973, Secretariat has proven to be one of the best racehorses ever seen. He gained a true celebrity status as he smashed the Triple Crown in record-setting style. Penny became Secretariat’s spokeswoman, and she became a leader despite the fact that the racing world is a boy’s club.
Her role brought her into the limelight and alongside with Martha F.Gerry and Allaire du Pont, they were the first female members of The Jockey Club. Penny also helped a lot in the Thoroughbred Retirement Foundation. The horse world would not be the same without this amazing woman. She deserves to be honored and respected!