For Immediate Release
Thursday, August 3, 2023,
Contact: Chelsea O’Reilly
BRICK FUNDRAISER LAUNCHED AT FLAGSHIP TRF VOCATIONAL PROGRAM; WALLKILL CORRECTIONAL
Saratoga Springs, NY – The Thoroughbred Retirement Foundation (TRF) is pleased to announce the launch of a brick pathway fundraising campaign at the Wallkill Correctional Facility in Wallkill, NY. Honoring the flagship location of the TRF Second Chances Program, and the partnership between the TRF and the New York State Department of Corrections and Community Supervision, this fundraiser will commemorate 40 years of “Saving Horses and Changing Lives.”
The Wallkill Correctional Facility’s Equine Handling Program has a long history of not only rehabilitating horses and incarcerated individuals, but a record of providing vocational training. That training includes construction and farm work, dating back to the first decade of operation. By the 1960s, Wallkill was running the nation’s first prison optical program. As Theodore Roosevelt once said, “There’s something about the outside of a horse that’s good for the insides of a man.”
Today, the daily care of 40+ powerful and dependent equines continue to change inmates’ outlook toward other living things, and in turn, themselves. Horses help people become better members of society by learning impulse control and boundaries. When humans approach horses with the horse’s best interest in mind, they also learn to be present and honest with themselves. These ideas are at the core of the program. At Wallkill, the retired racehorses are the teachers, having found a new career and a lifetime sanctuary.
In order to continue caring for the equines who call the Second Chances Program home, the TRF relies on private donations. To support its mission, a brick pathway will be constructed on the horse farm near the historical Walstein Childs House, located at the center of the farm. Fundraising and bricks will be available from the TRF starting July 12, 2023, through the summer of 2024, with a planned installation and unveiling in Fall 2024.
For more information and to purchase a brick, visit: www.trfinc.org/bricks
About TRF: Founded in 1983, the Thoroughbred Retirement Foundation is a national organization devoted to saving Thoroughbred horses no longer able to compete at the racetrack from possible neglect, abuse, and slaughter. As the oldest Thoroughbred rescue in the country, the TRF provides sanctuary to retired Thoroughbreds throughout their entire lifetime.
Best known for its pioneering Second Chances Program, the organization provides incarcerated individuals with life-changing vocational training through an accredited equine care and stable management program. At eight correctional facilities across the US, including one juvenile justice facility, this program offers second careers to its horses and a second chance at life for program graduates upon release from prison.