April 6, 2021

For Immediate Release                                                                                              Contact: Jessica Paquette, TRF- jessica@thoroughbredretirement.org

Thoroughbred Retirement Foundation (TRF) Opens New Sanctuary Farm near Louisville, KYChestnut Hall Will Connect the Louisville Community with Thoroughbred Horses

Prospect, KY  –   A national Thoroughbred aftercare charity with more than twenty years of history caring for retired Thoroughbred racehorses in the Commonwealth of Kentucky, the Thoroughbred Retirement Foundation (TRF) will open a first-of-its kind farm designed to give the Louisville community and fans from around the world a direct connection to the horses at the heart of horseracing.   The new TRF Sanctuary Farm at Chestnut Hall will be the permanent home of 11 horses from the organization’s national herd of 500 retired Thoroughbred racehorses.  These “herd ambassadors” will serve as educators to tell the story of the long life and diverse second careers that await these equine athletes when their racing days are done. Located on nearly 30 acres of historic farmland in Oldham County and featuring a beautiful farmhouse restored to serve as an event venue, Chestnut Hall has been created for the express purpose of connecting Thoroughbred horses to the people of Louisville, the Commonwealth of Kentucky and beyond.  Starting mid-May, the farm will be open to the public for tours through Visit Horse Country and will be available as a unique venue for educational events and fundraisers for nonprofits across the Louisville community.  

About the Farm

The TRF Sanctuary Farm at Chestnut Hall represents the realization of a dream of local businessman, Bill Carstanjen, CEO of Churchill Downs Incorporated. The new farm has been created as a gift to the horses of the Thoroughbred Retirement Foundation and the citizens of Kentucky.  On behalf of his family and community, Carstanjen was moved to purchase the property in Prospect to protect the historic farmhouse and pasture land from residential development. Over the course of the past year, Carstanjen has personally overseen the restoration of the 25+ acre property to its former beauty as an active horse farm.  Reflecting his deep personal appreciation for the horses at the heart of the Thoroughbred racing industry, Carstanjen sought out the Thoroughbred Retirement Foundation as his partner to provide a home for retired racehorses and to connect the Louisville community, broadly defined, to the majestic animals upon whom the Thoroughbred racing industry relies.   

“Thoroughbred horses have enriched the lives of countless citizens and visitors to Louisville throughout history, but very few opportunities exist for the community to experience and interact with these extraordinary animals,”  said Kim Weir, the Director of Major Gifts and Planned Giving for the Thoroughbred Retirement Foundation. “It is with this goal in mind that Mr. Carstanjen restored the horse farm and historic home at Chestnut Hall with the express intention of giving the gift of the horses to the community of Louisville. Together, it is our hope that the TRF Sanctuary Farm at Chestnut Hall will provide a venue for education, inspiration and imagination for many years to come.”


  • Media Open House: April 6th 12pm – 5pm 
  • Tour Booking and Private events: Visit https://www.trfinc.org/trf-sanctuary-farm-at-chestnut-hall/
  • For the safety of the horses and visitors, unscheduled visits are not permitted.

While the TRF Sanctuary Farm at Chestnut Hall is not open to the general public, visitors are welcome through pre-arranged tours via Visit Horse Country as well as by private appointment.


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 Blackburn Correctional Complex in Lexington, Kentucky provides a home for as many as 60 retired Thoroughbred racehorses and has been changing the lives of returning citizens for more than twenty years.

The TRF cares for 500+ rescued and retired Thoroughbreds at Second Chances prison farms and Sanctuary Farms across the country. The organization is funded entirely by private donations. The TRF is accredited by Thoroughbred Aftercare Alliance and has a Platinum rating with Guide Star. 
For more information visit: https://www.trfinc.org/