2018 marks the 35th anniversary of the Thoroughbred Retirement Foundation, the world’s largest equine sanctuary.  The mission of the TRF, founded in 1983, is to save Thoroughbred horses no longer able to compete on the racetrack from possible neglect, abuse and slaughter.

TRF has saved more than 5,000 horses, and it currently cares for over 700 horses at 22 farms in 12 states. Since its inception TRF has been a model and paved the way for many more racehorse aftercare organizations and tens of thousands of horses being saved from at risk situations.

The TRF is about more than helping horses in need. Nine of the TRF farms are TRF Second Chances facilities, the foundation’s pioneering program based at state correctional institutions. Early in its history, Founder and Eclipse Award winner Monique S. Koehler negotiated a milestone agreement with the State of New York Department of Correctional Services. In exchange for land use and labor at the state’s Wallkill Correctional Facility, the TRF would design, staff and maintain a vocational training program in equine care and management for inmates. TRF Second Chances teaches inmate/students all aspects of horse care, health, handling and stable management while the horses help rehabilitate the men and women who care for them. Hundreds of inmates have completed the program since TRF Second Chances was launched more than 30 years ago.

Kentucky, Virginia, South Carolina, Florida, New York, Maryland, Massachusetts, Indiana, and Illinois are all home to successful TRF Second Chances programs. TRF also operates a retraining facility at James Madison’s Montpelier and has sanctuary farms in South Carolina, Virginia, New York, Vermont, California and Oklahoma.

To commemorate the 35 year milestone, the TRF has celebrations and activities planned throughout the year.  Please join the TRF’s Anniversary Challenge by making a donation in the name of one of its retirees.

For more information about the yearlong celebration or to create your own event to support the TRF, contact Jennifer Stevens at: jennifer@thoroughbredretirement.org