(Edited press release)
On the eve of the 141st running of the Belmont Stakes (gr. I) June 6, the legacy of one of the race’s most illustrious winners continues to shine throughout the equine community.
Helen “Penny” Chenery, owner of 1973 Triple Crown champion Secretariat and president of the Secretariat Foundation, has announced the Foundation's recipients of charitable grants for 2009.
Most of this year’s grants, with a sum of $27,000, are aimed toward Chenery's continued focus on the plight of unwanted Thoroughbred racehorses and the ongoing battle against laminitis, the disease that claimed the lives of both Secretariat and 2006 Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) winner Barbaro, as well as thousands of other horses worldwide.
“More than 35 years after the thrill of Secretariat's Triple Crown, I am so honored that his memory lives on through the beneficiaries of the Secretariat Foundation,” Chenery said. “I am especially grateful to his fans and supporters who have made it possible for us to contribute to these projects.”
The 2009 Secretariat Foundation grant recipients are:
--Thoroughbred Retirement Foundation of Saratoga Springs, N.Y., $8,500
--Oklahoma Thoroughbred Retirement Program of Blanchard, Okla., $1,000
--University of Pennsylvania Veterinary School at New Bolton Laminitis Fund, Philadelphia, Pa., $10,000
--Old Friends: a retirement home for Thoroughbred stallions, Georgetown, Ky., $2,500
Additionally, the Foundation has awarded a $5,000 grant to the Dawn of a New Library project in Dawn, Va., where many Meadow Farm employees have lived and raised their families during their invaluable service to the Chenery family.
A champion of ongoing education, Mrs. Chenery welcomed the opportunity to give back to the Dawn community through this municipal construction project. The new 5,000-square-foot facility will house a greatly expanded collection of books, reference and research materials, state-of-the-art computer lab, and a meeting room available to all community patrons.
“Penn Veterinary Medicine is deeply grateful to Mrs. Penny Chenery, the ‘first lady’ of Thoroughbred racing and her continued, generous support of our work in the field of laminitis research,” said University of Pennsylvania Veterinary School Dean Dr. Joan C. Hendricks. “It is this type of on-going generosity that allows us to do the very important but painstaking work to uncover the secrets to curing and ultimately preventing laminitis and we thank her profoundly for her help.”