James River Work Center

James River Work Center,
State Farm, VA

Polly Bauhan, Farm Manager
Anne Tucker, Chapter President

Visit our website at www.jamesriverhorses.org


horse_and_offender_heads_touching.jpgIn 2007, the Thoroughbred Retirement Foundation and the Virginia Department of Corrections established a public-private partnership to provide rehabilitation and training for offenders, using ex-racehorses.

The horses living at James River Work Center have acres of rolling grassland, barns and run-in sheds, a horse-knowledgeable supervisor, and a group of carefully selected inmates to care for them. Local equine professionals volunteer their time to help supervise the herd and provide supplemental training for the inmates.

Offenders selected from a pool of applicants are assigned to the program for a specific period of training, during which they care for the horses on a daily basis – leading in and out, mucking stalls, grooming, feeding, doing round-pen work. This hands-on experience is complemented by classroom training in equine nutrition, physiology, tack and stable management.

The TRF at James River follows the nationally accredited Groom Elite Horsemen's Education Program curriculum, developed by Reid McLellan, Ph.D. Graduates become certified, and upon release, are supported by a regional committee of volunteers who assist with job placement in the horse industry.

Additionally, James River operates a successful adooption program and has a private trainer and adoption coordinator on staff.  Local competitions and foxhunts waive entry fees to that our adoptable horses are able to take trips off the farm before being matched with suitable farms.  Please visit our website (above) to learn more.