10 Lake Ave. Saratoga Springs, NY 12866  518-226-0028

TRF Second Chances Program

Photo Credit: EquiSport and Mim Adkins

The TRF Second Chances Program is a unique and pioneering program where inmates build life skills while participating in a vocational training program as they provide supervised care to our retired racehorses.

Located at correctional facilities in nine states, inmates from every imaginable backgound take part in a rigorous training program where they learn horse anatomy, how to care for injuries, equine nutrition and other aspects of horse care. Graduates of the program receive a certification based on the level of expertise they have mastered. After their release from prison, graduates of the TRF Second Chances Program have gone on to careers as farriers, vet assistants, and caretakers.

While TRF Second Chances began as a vocational program, it wasn’t long before other benefits of the program were realized; inmates not only learned a viable skill but also gained confidence and a sense of empathy. Studies have shown a reduction in recidivism rates at facilities that host the program.

If you are new to TRF, or are not familiar with our TRF 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.

It is critical to note that this program relies on donations, not government grants. Please consider making a gift so that we can continue this worthwhile program. You may designate your gift to support the program location of your choice.

TRF Second Chances News

Inmates find hope in work with retired racehorses

Story originally appeared in the Indy Star Matthew Ziliak doesn’t like to be messed with. Neither does Aly’s Wildcat, a retired racehorse that Ziliak helps care for on a western Indiana farm. “He’s the biggest one out here, and he doesn’t like being messed with,” said Ziliak of Aly’s Wildcat. “He kind of reminded me […]

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TRF Receives Gift to Cover Annual Farrier Expenses

The Geoffrey C. Hughes Foundation has donated $85,000 to the Thoroughbred Retirement Foundation Farrier Fund to cover the organization’s 2017 hoof-care expenses.  The TRF established the Farrier Fund in 2015. “Hoof maintenance is especially important for off-track Thoroughbreds and is one of our single largest expenses,” remarked Sara Davenport, TRF’s herd manager. “Our horses are […]

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Mercer County Rescue Update

By Fran LaBelle It never ceases to amaze how quickly mistreated horses can make a full comeback with patience, care and a whole lot of love. This has been true ever since the Thoroughbred Retirement Foundation launched its Second Chances Program at the Wallkill Correctional Facility in New York back in 1984. That program has […]

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Virginia Officer Helps Inmates Heal with Horses

By Susan Salk on November 25, 2016 Officer Shane Clarke of Virginia’s James River Work Center never gets tired of hearing the voices of paroled inmates who call him on the barn phone; the very barn that was at once a humble home for horses and a kind of schoolroom, where those dispossessed learned to […]

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Pikulski: All horses matter, deserve happiness

By Susan Salk on November 18, 2016 Diana Pikulski’s unwavering commitment to 825 ex-racehorses in the care of the Thoroughbred Retirement Foundation is, in part, an extension of her core belief in the sanctity of animal life, a powerful feeling dating back to childhood and a memory of lamb slaughter. She was 12 years old when she and her family visited […]

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Limelight shines on OTTBs at Equine Affaire

By Susan Salk on November 15, 2016 Their coats glistening, their tack polished, nine off-track Thoroughbreds took center stage this past weekend beneath the lights of the Equine Affaire Coliseum. During a brief appearance they demonstrated their prowess at a variety of disciplines showing no signs of, in some cases, very troubled pasts. As they […]

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Derby winning team keeps promise to help OTTB

By Susan Salk on November 4, 2016 Making good on a promise to help an unremarkable racehorse who once passed through the hands of Kentucky Derby winning trainer Graham Motion, a staffer of the famous horseman worked tirelessly to secure a sanctuary home at the Thoroughbred Retirement Foundation for a sweet gelding who’d run out […]

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‘Horses convert the toughest inmates’

By Susan Salk on October 21, 2016 Three decades having passed since he jackhammered concrete floors of an old dairy barn to make room for horses, Jim Tremper now looks back with pride on a little idea that turned a New York prison into a place of hope and second chances. Tremper, farm manager withThoroughbred […]

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Plymouth Farm Festival

On a sunny afternoon in Plymouth, Mass. two retired ex-racehorses held court with admiring youngsters at the fall open house at the Plymouth County Sheriff’s Farm. Suffolk Downs warhorses Red Miah and Future Fantasy, retirees in the Thoroughbred Retirement Foundation’s Plymouth herd of 10, greeted and delighted children who flocked to pet the gentle animals. […]

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