Monday, February 7th 2022
For Immediate Release
Contact: Jessica Paquette
THOROUGHBRED RETIREMENT FOUNDATION’S SECOND CHANCES PROGRAM EXPANDS IN NEW YORK AT WYOMING CORRECTIONAL FACILITY IN ATTICA
Saratoga Springs, NY – In collaboration with the New York State Department of Corrections and Community Supervision (NYSDOCCS), the Thoroughbred Retirement Foundation’s successful Second Chances program will expand in New York with a new farm located at Wyoming Correctional Facility in Attica. The Thoroughbred Retirement Foundation (TRF) has a rich history in New York and launched the flagship Second Chances program at Wallkill Correctional Facility in 1984, a program that continues to operate today.
“The TRF is eager to launch the new Second Chances Program in western New York so that we can provide this important vocational opportunity to more incarcerated individuals, who will also care for up to 25 Thoroughbreds needing a safe haven after their racing careers are over”, said Pat Stickney, TRF’s Executive Director. “We are grateful to the NYSDOCCS for their continued support in this collaborative effort which serves these two important missions”
The TRF Second Chances Program is a unique and pioneering program where incarcerated individuals build life skills while participating in a vocational training program as they provide supervised care to retired racehorses. The program has successfully expanded to seven states where incarcerated individuals have the opportunity to participate 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 grooms, farriers, vet assistants, and caretakers.
The TRF Second Chances Program at Wyoming Correctional Facility will operate within one of the former dairy barns, converted for the purposes of housing horses just as it was at the TRF’s flagship facility at Wallkill Correctional. The program will utilize approximately 50 acres of land near the barn, which will be reseeded and fenced to maintain the equine teachers who will live there.
The work on the property is slated to begin in the spring of 2022 to prepare the facility for the arrival of horses. To start, the program will welcome ten retired racehorses to the facility and as the program grows and strengthens, additional fencing will be added to accommodate up to a maximum capacity of 25 retired racehorses at the facility.
“The Department is elated to welcome the Thoroughbred Retirement Foundation’s Second Chances program to another one of our facilities,” said DOCCS Acting Commissioner Anthony J. Annucci. “TRF’s mission is not only humane in offering sanctuary to retired Thoroughbreds, but in the humanity it brings to its participants. This program has been lifechanging to countless incarcerated individuals over the years, and we are proud to expand this opportunity for a new lease on life to both incarcerated individuals and equines alike.
Currently, Wyoming Correctional has a strong offering of vocational services for incarcerated individuals including small engine repair, horticulture, welding, and HVAC. The addition of the TRF Second Chances program for equine vocational instruction will add another layer of unique and necessary skills available for the men to learn while they are serving their sentence as well as a much-needed place of sanctuary to the horses who will come to call Wyoming Correctional home.
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 lifelong sanctuary to retired Thoroughbreds throughout their lifetime.
Best known for its pioneering TRF Second Chances program, the organization provides incarcerated individuals with life-changing vocational training through its 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. The TRF Second Chances Program at the Wallkill Correctional Facility provides a home for 40 retired Thoroughbred racehorses and has been changing the lives of returning citizens for nearly forty years.
For more information visit: https://www.trfinc.org/