Blackburn Correctional Complex
Photos by: EquiSport
Once the TRF mission of horses helping people and people helping horses was established in New York at the Wallkill Correctional Facility, it was only natural that the prison farm program would spread to the place where the horse is king, the great state of Kentucky.
In 1999, the TRF opened a farm at the Blackburn Correctional Complex in Lexington. Shortly before the first TRF horses arrived, an old dairy barn was converted to accommodate the horses. Today, it is among the TRF largest farms, with about 80 horses living out their retirement years on 100 acres of prime Kentucky bluegrass at the state’s largest minimum security prison.Just as has happened at the other farms at correctional facilities, the inmates and the horses at Blackburn have become close friends.
“Stopwatch and I have become very close,” said one inmate. “He came to Blackburn with bowed tendons in both front legs. I spend a lot of time taking care of his legs…[when I] walk out in the paddock and whistle he’ll come running up to me because he knows I’ll have a peppermint for him.”