top of page

In Memoriam

Penelope A. de Peyer - January 31, 1940 - June 2, 2021

It is with great sadness that I announce the passing of Penny de Peyer on Wednesday, June 2, 2021. In true Penny fashion, she passed on her own terms, in her home as close to the animals she loved and cared for so deeply. We are thankful for the wonderful care of the Lake Sunapee VNA Hospice team and dedicated friends.


While we put together a more detailed chronology of the many facets of her life, we know that her love of horses took her from riding her pony on the grounds of Great Windsor Park in England, to the United States as a groom for the United States Equestrian Team where she traveled to Olympic and Pan American Games, to impacting the efforts to revive the critically endangered Cleveland Bay Horse with an extensive breeding program, as past President and board member of the Cleveland Bay Horse Society of North America, and to educating so many about the many amazing talents and the wisdom of donkeys. There are many of her friends who on their third generation of involvement with donkeys and Cleveland Bay Horses.

Penny’s early years were surrounded by music and formed her love of opera and Gilbert and Sullivan. Penny was a determined and strong-willed woman and ran her farm in Scotland, CT and then here in Goshen, NH independently. There was assistance, when needed, from those who could do it “Penny’s Way”!

Of the MANY horses that she bred over the years she is proudest of her gelding, Chakola’s Foreman who has shown the versatility of the Cleveland Bay breed and continues to be an ambassador for the breed at 8T Acres Equestrian Center in Hanover, NH.


As a driving force in the formation of the non-profit organization Road To Independence, she was happiest to see participants working around and developing their handling skills with the donkeys. Her early work and dedication to handling and showing her herd of 8 donkeys made them the perfect match for all of the many donkey antics we continue today with Road To Independence. Her wisdom, equine knowledge and presence will be missed by many.  Her wishes were to continue to do the best for the Cleveland Bays and Road To Independence. We will continue her breed line with the breeding of her last mare, Chakola’s In-Style. Road To Independence will continue to offer empowering opportunities with donkeys!!!


We can’t deny the connection that Penny had with her donkeys. The passing of Okemo, her homebred Poitou donkey, two weeks to the hour of Penny’s passing, is a direct reflection of that. Okemo was born 19 years ago on her farm in Goshen, shortly after Penny moved to NH. Penny was a daily part of Okemo’s life. In December 2020, when Penny was no longer able to go outside and do morning feeds, Okemo was the first to become noticeably depressed. We were able to manage a number of Okemo’s health incidents over next 6 months, but we feel that the stressful nature of Penny’s absence resulted in health conditions that were no longer manageable. Okemo joined us on the Newport Common for our first Farmers Market of the season on June 11, 2021, but now she is reunited with Penny. Thank you all for your kind thoughts and wishes. We plan to have a more extensive write up of Penny’s many contributions on behalf of Cleveland Bays and donkeys and a celebration of her life at a future date.

Respectfully compiled by Margaret Coulter

Penny and  Chakola's Okemo at her farm in Goshen, NH.

Penny de Peyer and Chakola's Foreman at 8T Acres Equestrian Center, Hanover, NH. February 2021

Penny is visited by Mattie and Pepper and Jackie May 2, 2021

Pictured left Penny with Foreman, a purebred Cleveland Bay.


At right Penny with one of the many miniature donkeys she bred over the years.

bottom of page