Cross-Industry Collaboration Brings the World to Blackburn Correctional Complex, Lexington, KY

TRF Blackburn 20th Anniversary Horse Show (Nov 6, 2019)

Media Contact: Kim Weir, Thoroughbred Retirement Foundation M. 703 939 5052

Lexington, KY  –  Building on the success of the 20th Anniversary TRF Blackburn Horse Show hosted in  2019, the Thoroughbred Retirement Foundation (TRF) and the Blackburn Correctional Complex (BCC) will host the TRF Blackburn 2020 Horse Show. A global audience will tune in to experience a compelling demonstration of horse-handling skills, equine knowledge and the transformational impact of the TRF Second Chances Program.

Event Details

  • Tuesday, October 20, 2020  
  • 8pm Eastern Time (one hour duration)
  • Streaming live on YouTube, Facebook and Twitter (Thoroughbred Retirement accounts)
  • No Tickets or RSVP Required.  Details at:

About the Horse Show

“Last year, we welcomed the Lexington community to Blackburn to see the men and horses of the TRF Second Chances Program “in action” and the response was extraordinary,”  Paul Saylor, Chairman of the TRF Blackburn Advisory Committee said. “This year we’ve re-imagined the Horse Show and will make the experience accessible to individuals across the country and around the world.”

“The awareness and understanding created by the 2019 Horse Show has had a powerfully positive impact on the TRF Second Chances Program at Blackburn”, shared Acting Warden Abby McIntire.  “By bringing employers and business leaders to meet the men and horses at the Second Chances barn last November, we have significantly improved the impact of the program on the long-term future of the offenders in our program.  We are optimistic about the impact of this year’s event, and hope it will inspire even more engagement in the program across Kentucky and the country.”  

As a direct result of the 20th Anniversary Horse Show, three graduates of the TRF Second Chances program have received job offers from employers in the equine industry.  Thus far in 2020, despite the challenges of COVID-19, two program graduates have completed their sentences at BCC and re-entered society with jobs in hand.  These men will share their stories within the TRF Blackburn 2020 Horse Show program.

A Collaborative Cross-Industry Effort

Notable support from Horse Show Media Sponsor, the Thoroughbred Daily News (TDN), and Workforce Development and Promotional Partners, the Kentucky Chamber of Commerce and Kentucky Equine Education Project (KEEP), have contributed meaningfully to the 2020 Horse Show.  The TDN editorial team has undertaken the filming and production of the live-action demonstrations and interviews which will be presented on October 20th via Livestream. This in-kind support has made the 2020 Horse Show possible. Meanwhile, the Horse Show Workforce Development Partner, the Kentucky Chamber of Commerce (through the work of the Kentucky Chamber Workforce Center and KEEP) has facilitated  invaluable connections with employers across the Commonwealth of Kentucky to promote fair chance hiring in the workplace and connect Kentucky’s returning citizens with meaningful employment.

Sponsorship for the Horse Show directly supports  the care of the 49 horses residing at the program at Blackburn.  The 2020 Horse Show has been generously sponsored by Mary and Gary West, the Heider Family Foundation with supporting sponsorship from Churchill Downs, Godolphin and the New York Thoroughbred Horsemen’s Association 

More than fifty Promotional Partners have joined the TRF to promote the 2020 Horse Show to their audiences. Several partners will be cross-posting the livestream event on their websites on October 20th and more than a dozen “watch parties” have been scheduled across the country and around the globe. This diverse team of individuals, nonprofits, membership organizations, racing partnerships and businesses are expanding the reach of the livestreaming event to more than 250,000 people through their social media networks.

Promotional Partners include: America’s Pastime Stables, Amplify Horse Racing, Belmont Child Care Association, Bergen Stables, Brook Ledge Horse Transportation, Community Ecology Institute, Dark Horse Mercantile, Denali Stud, DV8 Kitchen, Fasig-Tipton, The Fletcher Group, Florida Thoroughbred Owners’ and Breeders’ Association (FTBOA), Groom Elite, Herringswell Stables, Horse Country,  Impressions of Saratoga, Jaeger 2, Joanne Y. Pierce Fine Art, Kentucky Equine Education Project (KEEP), Kentucky Chamber of Commerce, Kentucky Thoroughbred Farm Managers Club (KTFMC), Lex on Tap, Making Strides Therapeutic Horsemanship, Inc., Maryland Horse Council, Maryland Equine Transition Service (METS), Midway University, New York Racing Association (NYRA), New York Thoroughbred Horsemen’s Association (NYTHA), National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame, Old Smoke Clothing Co., Pierce the HeArt Lessons, Rainbow’s End Racing Stable, Renaissance Equestrian Foundation, Retired Racehorse Project (RRP), Rood & Riddle Equine Hospital, Semper Fortis Financial LLC, Spy Coast Farm, Stable Duel, Starlight Racing and StarLadies, Thoroughbred Aftercare Alliance (TAA), Thoroughbred Charities of America, VisitLex, WinStar Stablemates and numerous passionate individuals are also spreading the word to their personal and professional networks.

Additional awareness raising  has been provided by Horse Show Media Partners including At the Races with Steve Byk, The Daily Racing Form (DRF), The Equiery,, Going in Circles Podcast, Horse Racing Nation, In the Money Media, Past the Wire, StreamHorseTV, The Paulick Report, Thoroughbred Daily News (TDN) and Wire to Wire.


About the TRF Second Chances Program: The TRF Second Chances Program is the nationally-acclaimed, flagship undertaking of the Thoroughbred Retirement Foundation (TRF).  This program, first launched in 1984 at the Wallkill Correctional Facility in Wallkill, NY, places retired Thoroughbred racehorses from the TRF herd in the care of the inmates within seven correctional facilities across the US.  Participating in a skills-oriented vocational training program, the offenders learn how to care for the aging equine athletes while gaining valuable life-skills that will equip them for success when they return to society.  Since its launch in 1999, the TRF Second Chances Program at the Blackburn Correctional Complex has provided lifelong sanctuary to hundreds of retired Thoroughbred racehorses after their racing careers have ended, while instilling vocational and life-skills in hundreds of men seeking a Second Chance in society after completing their terms at Blackburn.

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 lifetime.

Best known for its pioneering TRF Second Chances program, the organization provides incarcerated individuals with vocational training through its accredited equine care and stable management program. At seven correctional facilities across the country this program offers second careers to its horses and a second chance at life for inmates upon release from prison.  The TRF Second Chances Program at Blackburn Correctional Complex provides a home for as many as 60 retired Thoroughbred racehorses. The Program Manager is Mr. Tim Moore, the Acting Warden is Abby Mcintire, and there are 11 men currently participating in the TRF Second Chances curriculum.

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. 
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