Kathleen (Kate) M. O'Connell, 66, of Nyala Farm, Easton, died March 19, 2010.

Born in Bridgeport, the daughter of the late John and Veronica O'Connell, she had been a long-time resident of Easton.

She was well known and respected in thoroughbred horse racing circles as both a breeder and owner. She began her career exercising horses at Belmont Raceway in Long Island, N.Y., and Camden, S.C. She then worked as a veterinarian assistant in Fairfield for many years, and returned to horse racing as manager of Nyala Farm. Nyala's thoroughbreds race at the major racetracks on the East Coast.

O'Connell enjoyed the outdoors, fishing the waters of Long Island Sound and playing golf at the Aspetuck Valley Country Club, where she was a member. She was active in many conservation and equestrian organizations, giving focused attention and long-term commitment to the humane and proper treatment of retired thoroughbred racehorses.

Survivors include her cousins, William Robinson and his wife, Lynn of Shelton, Cathy Teachman of Trumbull, Kathy Ognelia of Winsted, David Robinson of Ray, Mich., and Donna Adler of Mamaroneck, N.Y.

Calling hours took place Thursday in the Spear-Miller Funeral Home, 39 South Benson Road, Fairfield; a prayer service was held at 3:30 p.m., officiated by the Rev. Timothy B. Hare. Interment will be private.

In lieu of flowers, contributions to support retired racehorses in O'Connell's memory may be made to the Thoroughbred Retirement Foundation, P.O. Box 3387, Saratoga Springs, NY 12866.

To sign an online guest register, visit www.SpearMillerFuneralHome.com