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 horses.

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

Dime Novel

Meet Dime Novel, a gorgeous gray gelding with the most expressive face. Dime started an incredible 121 times in his racing career. Now he lives a happy life of retirement in Illinois, where he is the perfect gentleman who will do anything asked of him. He is best friends with his herd mate, the sneaky […]

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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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He went from prison to blacksmith championship

By Susan Salk on October 6, 2016 A once somewhat shy inmate at the James River Work Center in Virginia, who parlayed skills acquired through the Thoroughbred Retirement Foundation’s prisoner/racehorse Second Chances program, recently took top honors for his farrier skills at the World Championship Blacksmiths competition in Doswell, Va. Will Wilson, a former inmate whose […]

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Tearful breeder reunited with TRF rescue horse

By Susan Salk on September 30, 2016 Cathy Hartsock rushed into Barn 4 at theThoroughbred Retirement Foundation’s James Riverlocation, found the right stall, and threw her arms around the neck of the copper chestnut gelding she’d been worrying about for years. She began to cry. “I felt like I was seeing one of my children,” […]

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Sovereign Kit Euthanized at 19 

Lexington, KY – September 21, 2016 – Sovereign Kit, one of the Thoroughbred Retirement Foundation’s only stallions, was euthanized last week due to complications from colic. He was 19 years old. An Argentinean bred Thoroughbred; Sovereign Kit began his career in Argentina before making his way to the New York circuit. Sovereign Kit went to […]

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Mercer County Horses Thriving at TRF

By Sue Finley Two months after being rescued from a dire neglect case in Mercer County on a farm leased by trainer Maria Borell and her father, the six horses entrusted to the inmates at the Thoroughbred Retirement Foundation’s Blackburn Correctional Facility are thriving. While many of them still have months to go in their […]

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Death-farm horse heals the hurt of an inmate

By Susan Salk on September 16, 2016 About a year after Ollie (JC: Oligopolist) was pulled off a Virginia farm with 80 other endangered and starving equines, the chestnut Thoroughbred ex-racehorse whose future was so uncertain then now brings comfort to a prisoner who relates to the animal’s struggle and triumph. “He’s been through a […]

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“Spa Day” for Retired Horses Provided by Equestrian Team

Article originally appeared: http://www.gamecocksonline.com/sports/w-equest/spec-rel/091216aac.html September 12, 2016 The South Carolina Equestrian team is accustomed to taking care of the horses on which they compete, but the Gamecocks paid it forward recently by providing a little tender loving care to retired thoroughbreds housed at the Wateree River Correctional Institution with some serious grooming and bathing of the […]

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