Thoroughbred Retirement Foundation

Thoroughbred Retirement Foundation

Retired Thoroughbred Don’t Quit Dreaming and his inmate caretaker practice ground-work skills in the TRF Second Chances Program. Credit: Anita Motion


Services: Sanctuary, Rehabilitation, Retraining/Adoption, Equine-Assisted Program

Location: Saratoga Springs, NY

Founded: 1983


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Average Number of Thoroughbreds: 650


Founded in 1983, the Thoroughbred Retirement Foundation is a national organization devoted to saving Thoroughbred racehorses no longer able to compete at the racetrack from possible neglect, abuse, and slaughter. The TRF has 15 farms and offers a lifetime of sanctuary for rescued and retired Thoroughbred racehorses. TRF currently cares for more than 500 ex-racehorses at sanctuary farms and facilities across the United States.

Best known for its pioneering TRF Second Chances program, the organization provides incarcerated individuals with vocational train- ing through its accredited equine care and stable management program.

Offered at six correctional facilities in the U.S., this program gives second careers as teachers to its horses and a second chance at life for inmates upon release from prison. Inmates from every imaginable background take part in a rigorous training program where they learn horse anatomy, how to care for injuries, equine nutrition, and other aspects of horse care. TRF partners with the Groom Elite program for curriculum and certification. After their release from prison, graduates of the Second Chances Program have gone on to careers as farriers, vet assistants, grooms, and exercises riders. While Second Chances began as a vocational program, it wasn’t long before other benefits of the program were realized; inmates not only learned a viable skill but also gained confidence, and a sense of empathy and compassion. Studies have shown a reduction in recidivism rates at facilities that host the program.

The majority of the horses that come to the TRF are not able to have a traditional secondary athletic career, arriving with no other options. Our sanctuary program promises a lifetime of care to these horses who live out their days in happy herds for an average of 10 to 15 years. More than 60 percent of TRF herd is aged 20 and older.

The TRF is funded by private donations. It’s only with the help of donors that TRF can continue to provide a dignified and well-deserved retirement to these incredible animals who once raced their hearts out for us.

Thoroughbred Retirement Foundation Success Stories

Richard Migliore and Bubba Sparks at TRF

Bubba Sparks – Bubba Sparks had a nose for the wire on the track, and he’s still finding ways to win at TRF’s Second Chances Program at Wallkill. Read more >>


Quick Call portrait by Cody Jo Wasial

Quick Call – The late Quick Call retired in 1992, earning more than $800,000 through 86 starts. He was the oldest of the 650 horses cared for by TRF. Read more >>


Dusk to Dawn at Thoroughbred Retirement Foundation's summer farm in Saratoga Springs

Dusk to Dawn – Heather Rio fell in love with Dusk to Dawn at TRF’s summer farm in Saratoga Springs. Read more >>