Patricia du Pont, horsewoman

She founded the Fair Hill Pony Club

March 01, 2013|By Frederick N. Rasmussen, The Baltimore Sun

Patricia du Pont, founder of the Fair Hill Pony Club who was active in animal rescue work, died Feb. 16 from complications of a stroke at her home in Fairview, Cecil County. She was 94.

The daughter of Archibald du Pont, who had been CEO of the Delaware Trust Bank, and Elizabeth Hayward du Pont, a homemaker, she was born and raised in Wilmington, Del.

She was a graduate of St. Timothy's School.

An accomplished horsewoman, show rider and avid fox hunter, Miss du Pont enjoyed fox hunting with the Elkridge-Harford Hunt Club, and hunted with her own pack of foxhounds.

In 1954, she founded the Fair Hill Pony Club, one of the first U.S. Pony Clubs, on her 500-acre farm that straddles the Mason-Dixon Line, where she supplied the horses and gave lessons.

"Generations of Cecil County children who did not own a horse were given the opportunity to learn to ride and care for a horse," said Grace Terry Hiter of Aberdeen, who was one of her pony instructors during the 1960s

"She shaped many children's lives in the area by teaching responsibility and hard work for more than 40 years," said Ms. Hiter.

"She never married. She loved her dogs and horses, took in many dogs and horses whose owners could no longer care for them, and made provisions, through a private foundation, that they live out their natural lives in retirement at her farm," she said.

Miss du Pont was the founder of the Patricia du Pont Foundation, which she also endowed.

"She was very generous with her charities and never ever wanted any recognition whatsoever," said Ms. Hiter.

At Miss du Pont's request, there will be no services.

There are no survivors.

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