Founded in 1983, the Thoroughbred Retirement Foundation is the largest equine sanctuary in the world devoted to the rescue, retirement, rehabilitation and retraining of Thoroughbred horses no longer able to compete on the racetrack.  Over 4,000 horses have come through our programs and we currently care for 950 nationwide.  More than 1,000 Thoroughbreds have been adopted out to loving homes.  At re-training farms, we prepare racehorses for adoption as riding and companion horses.  

At correctional facilities in ten states, TRF operates the Second Chances Program, where inmates build life skills while participating in a vocational training program as they provide supervised care to our retired horses. If you are new to TRF, or are not familiar with our Second Chances Program, please take the time to watch this brief video. You'll be glad you did; and you will understand why our mission is so important.

Video: TRF's Second Chances Program

The Thoroughbred Retirement Foundation offers a humane alternative to the dire possibilities that have long faced a great majority of ex-racehorses - neglect, abuse and slaughter.  It is a place, built on love and caring, that is befitting such noble and deserving animals.  As a registered 501(C)(3) organization, the TRF receives no public funding and is entirely dependent on the generosity of private individuals.  Our Federal Tax ID Number is 13-3132741.

New Mailing Address: 
PO Box 834, Saratoga Springs, NY 12866.

Tarrant Challenge Met - And Then Some!

Amy TarrantThe Thoroughbred Retirement Foundation started 2015 off on the right hoof, thanks to a challenge grant that brought in more than $350,000. Amy Tarrant, a successful Thoroughbred owner, breeder and trainer and a staunch supporter of the TRF, agreed to match any donation to the TRF from November through December 31, 2014 up to $100,000.

When the challenge period ended, donations exceeded expectations by $250,000.

“I am so happy that it was so successful,” said Tarrant, a Vermont native who befriended TRF Vice-President Diana Pikulski when she took out her training license 12 years ago. “I feel strongly that these horses deserve another career after they are done racing. We ask so much of them as racehorses, and they give everything they've got." Read More.

TRF Alum 'Batman' Finds a Forever Home

Christine Brubaker and Babe's Mantel aka 'Batman'The Thoroughbred Foundation's recent mailing shows four horses frolicking in the snow with the slogan, “Not just home for the holidays. . . Home Forever!” It's a reminder that TRF's purpose is to secure safe haven for ex-racehorses for the rest of their lives.

Certainly, adoption is one way this purpose is met. But, at an average annual cost of $2,500 to maintain one horse, people have to be all-in to adopt a horse. People like Sherrie Brubaker and her daughter, Christine. Back in 2001, Sherrie decided that Christine was ready for a horse.

“Growing up, I had three ponies,” Christine said. “But now I was 14 and I had out-grown them. We heard about one of the TRF farms in New York, and we went up there to look for one. I was looking for a taller horse, and we saw this horse named Babe's Mantel that they called `Batman.' He was very cute and very sweet, and when I went to brush him, he was a little ticklish. I knew I wanted him.”

Batman also had a secret. “I didn't tell my parents at the time, but I was told that he had been sitting in a field for about six months,” Christine said. “But I got on him anyway, and he was very calm. We took him home.”

This was the start of a new life for Batman, his third such beginning.  His first was as a racehorse. A son of Turkoman, Babe's Mantel fashioned a record of 3-1-6 from 24 starts and earned little more than $40,000. Perhaps his most noteworthy race was on November 10, 1992 where he led early but finished seventh at Churchill Downs. The winner of that race was Prairie Bayou, who would go on to win the Preakness, the second jewel in racing's Triple Crown, six months later. Read more.

Give the Gift of Love

TRF Holiday HorseThis holiday season the Thoroughbred Retirement Foundation offers two ways to give a unique present to someone special on your list. Make a GIFT OF ANY SIZE and your gift will be matched dollar for dollar, up to $100,000. Double your support dollars! Or, SPONSOR a retired racehorse.  Visit the sponsorship website to meet Thoroughbreds like Baby Trend, and Carterista.


Rather than spending money on desperately needed veterinary attention, Baby Trend's trainer roughly stitched up the wounds himself before shipping him off to slaughter.  The injuries to his face prevented the gelding from eating, and when the TRF found him after 10 days in the kill pen, he was nearly dead on his feet. It took 132 stitches, a special diet, and months of attentive care before Baby started to regain a spring in his step.  Now, healthy and happy in Virginia, he is a permanent TRF resident who will live out the rest of his life in our pastures.


Carterista is a special horse, publicly honored upon retirement with the establishment of a namesake race, the $75,000 Carterista Handicap, at Calder Race Course.  His owner retired him to the TRF at the age of 10 after a very successful racing career, and "Carter" became the first equine resident at TRF's Second Chances Farm at the Lowell Correctional Institution in Ocala, FL."He has those large intelligent eyes," says Kelly, a student in our Second Chances program, "where I see the gentler soul of a young champion." Visit all of our horses available for sponsorship.

This Giving Tuesday, Double Your Dollars with the TRF!

Giving Tuesday

Thanks to the generous support of Amy Tarrant, all gifts made by December 31 will be matched, up to $100,000! Make your gift today and make twice the impact for our thoroughbreds.


paul_saylor.jpgNovember 28, 2014. Saratoga Springs, NY.  Thoroughbred owner and businessman Paul Saylor has been elected to the board of directors of the Thoroughbred Retirement Foundation (TRF). Saylor, chairman and chief executive officer of CS Capital Management in Atlanta, GA and Los Angeles, CA, has devoted his time, talent, and assets to many worthy endeavors, including the TRF.  In 2011, he created “Olivia’s Herd” to care for the horses in TRF’s herd with special needs and in 2012, he set up a matching grant to benefit TRF.

It is “Olivia's Herd”, however, that is especially close to his heart. Named in memory of Saylor's 21-year-old daughter who died in a Charleston, SC fire on January 1, 2011, “Olivia's Herd” tends to TRF horses that may be hard-keepers or need additional care, usually due to age or injury. Currently, there are 25 horses in “Olivia's Herd“and more than $188,000 has been raised.


West Virginia Breeders Comes Through for TRF - Again!

West Virginia BreedersSARATOGA SPRINGS, NY – For the fifth consecutive year, the Thoroughbred Retirement Foundation has received a $25,000 donation from the 28th edition of the West Virginia Breeders Classics, which was held October 18 at Hollywood Casino at Charles Town. The nine-race card featured $1.28 million in purses, and the highlight was the $500,000 West Virginia Breeders Classic, which now stands as the richest state-bred race in the country.

“The West Virginia Breeders Classics is grateful for the outstanding job done by the TRF in its care of our retired racehorses,” said Carol Holden, president of the West Virginia Breeders Classics. “We also applaud its leadership as the very first national organization to recognize and take action in the effort to give these horses a well deserved home.” Read more.

TRF Elects 'The Mig' as First Jockey on Board

Richard MiglioreSARATOGA SPRINGS, NY – The Thoroughbred Retirement Foundation elected Richard Migliore to its Board of Directors on Wednesday, October 22. ‘The Mig,’ who won nearly 4,500 races during his 30-year career, is the first jockey to sit on the TRF Board.

The addition of Migliore, a longtime TRF supporter and advocate for the humane treatment of off-track Thoroughbreds, augments an already distinguished and diverse TRF Board.

In commenting on Migliore’s election, John Moore, Chairman of TRF stated, “I first spoke to him about this four years ago, and this time the stars aligned. Rich perfectly complements the already formidable equine expertise of the TRF Board. We already have on our Board three prominent equine veterinarians, including two past-presidents of the American Association of Equine Practitioners (AAEP), a former Chairman of the New York Racing and Wagering Board and several former race-track executives, breeders and owners. Read More.

Blackburn Celebrates 15 Years of Second Chances

blackburn_anniversary_invitation_email_final.jpgFor 31 years the TRF has successfully rehabilitated and retrained Thoroughbreds for second careers. For those horses needing lifetime retirement, the TRF offers care – and second careers as teachers -- through the TRF Second Chances program at 10 correctional facilities around the country, where inmates become talented grooms.

This year, we celebrate 15 years at our beautiful Blackburn Correctional Center farm in the heart of the Kentucky bluegrass. With the help of the local thoroughbred industry, this farm has developed into a beautiful community of horses and people. Please visit us at our Blackburn farm on Thursday, October 23 at 10:00 a.m. for the chance to meet the horses and the men who care for them and a short ceremony commemorating the success of the program and those who helped make it happen. Light refreshments will be served. RSVP is required by October 20th. RSVP by email: or by calling: (518) 226-0028.


TRF Featured in Vancouver Film Festival Premier

The Wound and the Gift, the movieThe Thoroughbred Retirement Foundation's Second Chances program at the James River Work Center in Virginia is featured as part of a new film, “The Wound and the Gift: The True Meaning of Animal Rescue.” The movie premiered on September 30th at the 33rd Annual Vancouver International Film Festival.

The film is produced and directed by Brooklyn, NY resident Linda Hoaglund. Click here to watch a 3 minute clip featuring the TRF.

The TRF, now in its 31st year, fits well in “The Wound and the Gift.” The film focuses on the efforts of humans to rescue animals that were bred for profit, abused or sold on the black market. The film is held together by a running narrative by renowned actress Vanessa Redgrave, who recites an ancient fable of a wounded crane, rescued by peasants, who tries to bring them a gift as a show of gratitude. Read more.


Local Foundations Step Up To Support TRF Second Chances at Plymouth County Sheriff's Farm

Plymouth county horses arrive with mounted escortPLYMOUTH, MA (Sept. 09, 2014) – An innovative program that uses retired horses from Suffolk Downs to develop career and transition skills for inmates at the Plymouth County Correctional Facility has received a major gift from three local charitable foundations.

The Thoroughbred Retirement Foundation (TRF), which launched the Second Chances program at Plymouth County Sheriff’s Farm in 2009 with the support of the Fields Family Foundation, received $60,000 from the Gardinor Prunaret Foundation, Roberta M. Childs Charitable Foundation and Mary Elizabeth Pearce Foundation. Second Chances is a rehabilitative initiative for both inmates and horses. Through the program, inmates from the Plymouth County Correctional Facility care for retired racehorses as part of the facility’s vocational program. Several horses have been adopted from the Sheriff's Farm since the program's inception in November of 2009. Read more.


TRF Welcomes Carl J. Domino to its Board of Directors

Carl J. DominoSARATOGA SPRINGS, NY Carl J. Domino, a longtime fixture on the New York racing circuit and a staunch supporter of the Thoroughbred Retirement Foundation, has been elected to the TRF Board of Directors.

“We are thrilled to have Carl join the TRF board,” said TRF Vice President of External Affairs Diana Pikulski. “Carl has been a major supporter of the TRF for many years and he really walks the walk with the horses in his stable, his generosity, and his fundraising on behalf of the TRF.”

A native of New Brunswick, NJ, Domino began his training career as assistant to Dave Schneider. Schneider trained horses for Domino's mother, Lee Cannata, who owned a 14-horse stable in New York. Read more.




5th Annual Run/Walk for the Horses
& Kids Fun Run

September 6, 2014  -  Thank you to everyone (and their four legged friends!) who braved the humidity in the early morning hours on Saturday and ran, walked and volunteered at our 5th Annual Run for the Horses 5K!  We're grateful that so many of you came out to help support this important cause.  Photos are available on our Facebook page.

16 year old Connor Oakman returned to reclaim his title this year by finishing first in the male overall, with Mike Bracken in second followed by Greg Ethler in third. Erin Lopez lead the women with a smoking finish in first, followed by Mary Buck in second and Sarah Morris in third overall. 8 year old Sean Hughes was our youngest competitor, and 71 year old Howard Jones crossed the finish line with a formidable pace for any athlete.  Congratulations to all! Full race results are posted here: 5th Annual Run for the Horses.  

A big thanks is also due to all of our sponsors, especially Adirondack Trust, Adirondack Trust Insurance, The Saratogian, Gilstrap & Associates, and irun local for donating gift cards to all our top finishers.

Pre-registered competitors who didn't pick up their tee-shirts please contact Mary Abbruzzese by email or at 518-226-0028. Extra shirts are available for $10 each. We love hearing feedback from runners and spectators, and are also very happy to hear from anyone who might be interested in volunteering for the 6th Annual Run for the Horses, Saturday, September 5th, 2015.  Please give Mary a call at 518-226-0028.  

Save the Date! 


Rosie Napravnik Takes Lead for “Olivia’s Herd”

Jockey Rosie Napravnik winning the Grade 1 Hopeful in 2012 at Saratoga aboard Shanghai Bobby - photo credit ADAM COGLIANESE, NYRA photosSaratoga Springs, NY

Jockey Rosie Napravnik took time out from her busy afternoon at Saratoga Race Course on July 31 to sign autographs to benefit “Olivia's Herd,” the special needs horses of the Thoroughbred Retirement Foundation.

Always a fan favorite, Napravnik met with fans on behalf of Olivia's Herd, which was started in 2011 by horse owner/breeder Paul Saylor in memory of his daughter to care of the needs of TRF horses most in need of special care or feeding because of age or other physical condition.

Killed in a fire three years ago, Olivia would have been 25 years old on July 31.  Read full story.


Thoroughbred Retirement Foundation Celebrates 30-year Anniversary of its ‘Second Chances’ Program

wallkill_superintendent_timothy_laffin_at_the_podium_photo_credit_deborah_miles.jpgWallkill, NY – Nearly 100 supporters of the Thoroughbred Retirement Foundation (TRF), including dignitaries from New York State, gathered at the TRF’s horse farm on the grounds of the Wallkill Correctional Facility June 19.

The event marked the 30th anniversary of the TRF’s Second Chances program – a rehabilitation initiative designed to teach inmates equine management while rescuing racehorses.

The TRF’s founding board of directors established the program out of personal concern... Read the entire story.



bobbyflay2.png“The Foods of Bobby Flay,” the official Belmont Stakes charity celebration benefitting the Grayson Jockey Club Research Foundation and the Thoroughbred Retirement Foundation, raised approximately $300,000 for the two charities at the event in Manhattan Thursday night.

The highlight of the night was the presentation of the fourth annual Earle Mack Thoroughbred Champion Award, presented to leading anti-slaughter advocate Victoria McCullough.

The chairman of the board of Chesapeake Petroleum, McCullough was recognized for her efforts and influence on safeguarding the lives of Thoroughbred racehorses through the prevention of the reinstitution of horse slaughter in the U.S.   Read Entire Story

TRF Names Messer, Scherf to Board of Directors

The Thoroughbred Retirement Foundation has named Dr. Nat T. Messer IV and Christopher Scherf to its Board of Directors.

Dr. Messer is currently a consultant to the University of Missouri's Department of Veterinary Medicine and Surgery, where he served as the Director of Equine Center for seven years and as a professor from 2008-2012. He is a recipient of the Distinguished Service Award and named a Distinguished Life Member of the American Association of Equine Practicioners.

Scherf is the executive vice-president of Thoroughbred Racing Associations of North America, which represent its 48-member racetracks in regulator, legislative and other industry matters. In 1990, the TRA formed Equibase with The Jockey Club, thereby creating an industry-owned database of racing information that enabled the unfettered growth of full-card simulcasting. Click here to read more.

hay!_button.jpgThoroughbred Retirement Foundation Launches 6th Annual “Haydrive”

Saratoga Springs, NY (February 14, 2014)  -  Time to get on the bale! The Thoroughbred Retirement Foundation's sixth annual Hay Drive kicks off on St. Valentine's Day, Friday, February 14, 2014.

This year, the Hay Drive's theme is “Eat, Hay, Love,” but the mission is the same: to raise money to help feed the nearly 1,000 horses in the TRF herd. The average cost of hay is $180 per ton, and the TRF expects that expense to exceed $350,000 this year. Learn More.

January 31, 2014, by Susan Salk, Off-Track Thoroughbreds --

sir_prize_birthday_photo.jpgFor 10 years the dark bay Thoroughbred raced with the heart of a prizefighter.

In his youth he surged into battle on racetracks far and wide, fighting for victory in a staggering 206 starts and earning $300,000 before it was all said and done. And when age and mileage finally took him from the track, he was asked to enter different kind of fight, the kind waged every day by the inmates incarcerated at Wallkill Correctional Facility in New York.

For 16 years now, Sir Prize Birthday, who turns 34 in May, has swaggered about as king of the field in the Thoroughbred Retirement Foundation’s inmate program at Wallkill, regularly fighting off challenges from other horses for turf rights.

But when not embroiled in a duel, he has quietly helped inmates who are privately fighting their own battles, escorting them through exercises that teach them peace and kindness. To read the full OTTB article click here.


anniversary_logo_horse-under-tree_only.jpgFor the Thoroughbred Retirement Foundation, 2013 was going to be a special year if for no other reason than it marked the TRF's 30th anniversary.
But as the year progressed, it proved to be one of great importance to the world's largest equine sanctuary, which had already saved more than 4,000 horses from neglect, abuse and slaughter.
To date, there are 950 horses in the TRF herd, including those at 10 TRF Second Chances facilities in 10 states across the nation. Originally founded at Wallkill, NY, which will celebrate its own 30th anniversary in 2014, TRF Second Chances teaches non-violent prisoners horse care and stable management as a vocation through its Groom Elite program. Inmates learn by working with and developing trust with TRF horses, who in return get a safe, loving home and compassionate care.
Most impressive in 2013... Read More



Impressive John R. - TRF ReNews Fall 2014
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