Penny Chenery

Racehorse Owner and Breeder
Born Jan 27, 1922

Helen Bates "Penny" Chenery Tweedy is an American sportswoman who bred and raced Secretariat, the 1973 winner of the Triple Crown. The youngest of three children, she graduated from The Madeira School in 1939 and earned a Bachelor of Arts from Smith College, then studied at the Columbia Business School, where she met her future husband, John Tweedy, Sr. , a Columbia Law School student.… Read More

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Learn about the memorable moments in the evolution of Penny Chenery.


1922 Birth Penny Chenery was born in New Rochelle, New York in 1922 and raised in Pelham Manor, New York. … Read More


1943 21 Years Old After graduating in 1943, Chenery worked as an assistant for Gibbs and Cox, a company that designed war craft for the Normandy invasion; subsequent to the invasion, she quit her job.
1945 23 Years Old At the urging of her father, Chenery volunteered to join the Red Cross and in 1945 traveled to France as a Doughnut Girl to help war-weary soldiers transition to ships home at the end of World War II.
1946 24 Years Old When Chenery returned from Europe in 1946, her father encouraged her to advance her education by attending the Columbia Business School. … Read More
1949 27 Years Old While there, she met John Bayard Tweedy, whom she married in May 1949. … Read More


1969 47 Years Old In 1969, she fired long-time trainer Casey Hayes. … Read More
1971 49 Years Old In May 1971, Chenery hired his father, Lucien Laurin, and in 1972 they guided the Meadow Farm's colt Riva Ridge to victory in the Kentucky Derby and Belmont Stakes and the two-year-old Secretariat to 1972 American Horse of the Year honors. … Read More


1976 54 Years Old 1 More Event
From 1976 to 1984, Chenery served as president of the Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders Association.


1983 61 Years Old In 1983, she became the first woman elected as a member of The Jockey Club and has also served as a member of the judges' panel for the Dogwood Dominion Award. … Read More
1992 70 Years Old In addition to breeding Secretariat, Chenery bred Saratoga Dew, who became the first New York-bred horse to ever win an Eclipse Award when the filly was voted the 1992 American Champion Three-Year-Old Filly.
2003 81 Years Old In 2003 the Arlington Park track established the annual "Penny Chenery Distinguished Woman in Racing Award".
2006 84 Years Old In 2006, the National Thoroughbred Racing Association honored her with the Eclipse Award of Merit for a lifetime of outstanding achievement in thoroughbred racing.
2009 87 Years Old In 2009, she was awarded the Smith College Medal for extraordinary professional achievement and outstanding service to her community. … Read More
2010 88 Years Old Chenery was portrayed by actress Diane Lane in the 2010 motion picture Secretariat, released on October 8, 2010. … Read More
2011 89 Years Old …  In March 2011, Randolph-Macon College in Ashland, Virginia awarded Chenery an Honorary Doctor of Laws degree. Married in May 1949, the couple had four children.
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