Penny Chenery is the owner of Secretariat, the legendary stallion who won the Kentucky Derby, Preakness and the Belmont Stakes in 1973, becoming the first Triple Crown winner in 25 years. Chenery was portrayed in the 2010 Disney movie titled "Secretariat" starring Diane Lane. The film followed Chenery's life as the breeder of the star horse who broke track records and became an American icon.
Chenery saved her father's Virginia farm, Meadow Stable, when her horse Riva Ridge won the Derby and the Belmont in 1972. Secretariat's breakthrough success followed, which brought Chenery acclaim in the world of thoroughbred racing and won the hearts of horse-racing fans around the globe.
In 1973, America was plagued by the Vietnam War and the Watergate scandal, but the superstar chestnut-red stallion, who often wore white and blue silks, emerged as a symbol of heroic beauty and strength. Secretariat was featured on the covers of Time, Newsweek and Sports Illustrated.
Chenery was passionate about horses from an early age and attended The Madeira School, a private boarding academy in Virginia. Her father encouraged her equestrian interests and later pushed her to attend Columbia Business School, where she met John Tweedy, Sr., whom she later married. She is often referred to as "the first lady of racing" and is the owner of the horse Cotton Anne, who is a great-granddaughter of Secretariat.