Penny Chenery, who bred and raced 1973 Triple Crown winner Secretariat as well as realizing her ailing father's dream to win the Kentucky Derby in 1972 with Riva Ridge, has died. She was 95.
Chenery died Saturday in her Boulder, Colorado, home following complications from a stroke, according to her children. They announced her death Sunday through Leonard Lusky, her longtime friend and business partner.
In 1973, Secretariat captured the imagination of racing fans worldwide when he became the first Triple Crown winner in 25 years, sweeping the Kentucky Derby, Preakness and Belmont. He won the last leg by a whopping 31 lengths in one of the greatest performances in sports history.
Born Helen Bates Chenery on Jan. 27, 1922, in New Rochelle, New York, she was the youngest of three children of Christopher and Helen Chenery, for whom she was named.
Following Secretariat's retirement, Chenery became an ambassador for thoroughbred racing and remained so after the colt's death in 1989.
She served as the first female president of the Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders Association and president of the Grayson-Jockey Club Research Foundation. She became one of the first women admitted to The Jockey Club and helped found the Thoroughbred Retirement Foundation.
Chenery created the Secretariat Vox Populi award annually honoring racing's most popular horse, as well as the Secretariat Foundation, which assists and supports various charities within the racing community.
She received the 2006 Eclipse Award of Merit for lifetime contributions to the thoroughbred industry, and in recent years, she advocated for laminitis research and care advancement as well as efforts to ban the use of performance-enhancing drugs in racing.
Chenery's marriages to John "Jack" Tweedy and Lennart Ringquist ended in divorce. She is survived by her children from her marriage to Tweedy: Sarah Manning, Kate, Chris and John. Her other survivors are seven grandchildren and stepson Jon Ringquist.
Lusky said a public memorial was pending.Sports on 09/18/2017