About the Farm

On May 14, 2009 the TRF Second Chances Farm at Central Maryland Correctional Facility opened their barn doors to receive its first three retired/rescued thoroughbred race horses. This unique program is possible because of a partnership between DPSCS and the Thoroughbred Retirement Foundation (TRF).

The farm is the first program of its kind to be taught in the state of Maryland. Secretary Gary D. Maynard spearheaded similar programs in other states throughout his various careers within corrections. The partnership not only benefits the horses, but also the offenders who work at the site. There are infinite opportunities for program expansion to include things such as therapeutic and community outreach initiatives.


“I was invited to visit the TRF Second Chances program in Sykesville in December 2018. I left that day with a great respect for what the TRF has created and also for Sarah Stein who runs the program there.  They provide two things.  A place that gives an abundance of care and attention for retired Thoroughbred racehorses.  A unique education that will enrich the lives of a group of men while also teaching a skill that can be used in a positive way.”

-Anita Motion, Herringswell Stables

With thanks to our TRF Maryland Ambassadors

  • Derek Brown
  • Ramon and Sharon Dominguez
  • Charlie and Sherry Fenwick
  • Dan Kramer
  • Graham and Anita Motion
  • Lawrence Holmes
  • Sagamore Racing
  • Natalie and Abby Sherman

About the Program

As a Public Safety Works program, Second Chances Farm is a restorative justice tool that DPSCS hopes to utilize to give our offender population work skills while also teaching compassion through the care of a living animal. The project began in 2008 with the resurrection of a dilapidated barn and surrounding grounds near our Central Maryland Correctional Facility in Sykesville, MD by offenders in our pre-release system and Maryland Correctional Enterprises.

In their own words: Letter From Peter

In their own words: Letter from Tyler “Heroes with Hooves”

Meet the Manager

Sarah Stein has been riding horses all her life.  She grew up in Montgomery County but has lived in the Baltimore area since 1992.  Sarah grew up showing ponies, and was introduced to foxhunting at a young age through her mother’s love of the sport. 

Sarah Stein at 2019 Graduation, PC: Anita Motion

In 1993, Sarah was introduced to the world of  Steeplechase and she remained an active part of the sport until 2010.  Sarah worked for Jack Fisher and as assistant trainer to Ann Stewart.  She was lucky enough to help Ann train Hunt Cup winners Swayo and Askim, as well as Steeplechase star Incomplete. Sarah was the barn manager at the Green Spring Valley Hunt Club for 10 years. Sarah has traveled to many places in the world working with horses such as Mongolia and New Zealand. The TRF Second Chances Program here in Sykesville, MD is where inmates learn about horse care and the horse industry throughout a six month period.  Some of the graduates have gone on work at the racetrack. 

Thoroughbred industry recognizes Sarah Stein as a SheHero – June 2019

All aspects of this program have been funded by the generosity of private donations to TRF.

TRF Maryland Newsletter #1 (Feb 2019)

TRF Maryland Newsletter #2 (May 2019)

Recent media coverage of the TRF Second Chances Program in Maryland:

Former Inmate Becomes Horse Groom Thanks To Second Chance Program

The US farm where prisoners and horses are given a second chance at life.

Horse farm program gives Maryland inmates a second chance

Second Chances horse rescue teaches inmates work skills

Second Chance Farms called a place of redemption for horses and caretakers

Horses and prisoners get ‘Second Chances” at MD farm