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Deborah Burgoyne Hamilton

Hartland, Vt. — Deborah Burgoyne Hamilton was born on July 10, 1943, in Bridgeport, Conn. and died peacefully on Friday, May 9, 2014. She spent her youth in Darien, Conn. and graduated from Stephens College in Columbia, Miss. where she studied theater. She attended and worked at the Santa Fe Opera during three summers.

Later she worked at Yale, New Haven Hospital. She then worked at the Fairfield Hunt Club in Fairfield, Conn. where she was a riding instructor for 15 years. She was a longtime member of OX Ridge Hunt Club in New Canaan, Conn. She also studied dressage extensively in Europe.

In 1998, she moved to Hartland and founded Hamilton Rare Breeds Foundation, a non-profit entity which specializes in the preservation of horses, donkeys, and ponies.

She loved art, classical music, opera, flowers and antiques. She loved animals all her life, particularly horses, dogs, and Dales Ponies. With the help and direction of Pat Hastings she successfully bred and raised the very rare Poitou donkeys on her Hartland farm. She loved to travel in Europe and was especially fond of England.

Debbie never tired of relating how much she adored Vermont and her beloved farm and pets. She so appreciated the beauty and peacefulness of Vermont. The last 16 years of her life have been devoted to her animals and farm. Her contagious enthusiasm was felt by many in the equine community.

She was predeceased by her father, Charles Alfred Hamilton, and by her mother, Elizabeth Roberts. She is survived by her brother, Owen Hamilton and sister-in-law Debbie.

Contributions may be made to Hamilton Rare Breeds, P.O. Box 282, Hartland, VT 05048

Private services will be held at a later date.

Cabot Funeral Home in Woodstock is assisting the family.