In 1947 Donna's father, T. Edward Gilman (Ed), a local realtor, was given the listing for Eagle Point Farm which had been in his family from 1840 to 1938. The property included a two-story frame farmhouse, an old wooden barn and two open fields in front of the house. The rest of the farm was covered with trees. According to Frankie Gilman Griffith, Donna's mother, Ed wrote such a fine advertisement for Eagle Point Farm that he sold himself on the idea of owning the farm. Ed and Frankie purchased the farm for $15,000 in 1947. After he bought the farm, Ed purchased a mare named Ginger that he used for foxhunting. Ginger had been retired from racing unable to break her maiden and had also been a broodmare. After one of the foxhunts, and a few drinks, Ed tried to convince a friend of his that Ginger was faster than the racehorse that his friend owned. They decided to set a match race at the Deep Run Races, a local country fair, which the local newspaper heavily publicized. Ginger won the match race with Ed's whip still stuck in his boot. Ed then took Ginger to Charles Town and on the way stopped in a local pharmacy to ask if anyone knew of a trainer. A trainer just happened to be at the pharmacy and even though he told Ed there was only 1 week left of racing the trainer finally agreed to take Ginger, mainly because he learned she was already in the trailer in the pharmacy parking lot. On the last day of the meet, in the last race, Ginger won easy. Ed caught the racing bug!
Over the years, whenever the horses ran well, the Gilman's made improvements to the farm and cleared the land. Not only has it proven to be a great financial investment, but also a great place for Donna to be raised and for Donna and Steve to raise their children.
Donna Gilman Dennehy has been actively involved in the daily operations of Eagle Point Farm since 1969. She is the former President of the Virginia Thoroughbred Association and director of the Virginia Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association. In addition to being a TOBA member and NTRA member, she serves on the Farm Bureau Equine Advisory Board, Hanover County Farm Bureau Board, and the Camptown Charities Board. Donna was co-chairman of the Architectural Review Committee that helped design the track and barns at Colonial Downs.
Donna attended the College of William and Mary and received her Bachelor's Degree from Virginia Commonwealth University in 1973. She is married to Stephen B. Dennehy and has two grown children, Michael and Karen.
Karen Dennehy Godsey graduated with honors from Sweet Briar College in May of 2005 with a Business Management degree and a certificate in Equine Studies. She is an accomplished equestrian, being overall individual champion at the 2004 Affiliated National Riding Commission, 6th in the same competition in 2005, and 3rd overall at the 2005 Intercollegiate Horse Show Association National Championships in Ohio. Karen has since returned to her roots at Eagle Point Farm to help manage and train the horses. She acquired her Trainer's license in the summer of 2005. Karen brings a new perspective to the farm and has added many improvements to the training program, facility and operations.
Together, Donna and Karen work together to carry on as the second and third generation to continue the success of Eagle Point Farm.