Thoroughbred Retirement Foundation

Thoroughbred Retirement Foundation will celebrate the organization’s 40th anniversary in 2023. Credit: Linda Doane
  • Services

    Sanctuary, Rehabilitation, Retraining/Adoption, Equine-Assisted

  • Location

    Saratoga Springs, New York

  • Founded


  • Average Number of Thoroughbreds


Founded in 1983, Thoroughbred Retirement Foundation (TRF) is a national organization devoted to saving Thoroughbred racehorses no longer able to compete at the racetrack from possible neglect, abuse, or slaughter. TRF has 18 farms and offers lifetime sanctuary for rescued and retired Thoroughbred racehorses. TRF currently cares for about 450 ex-racehorses at sanctuary farms and facilities across the United States. The TRF herd lives on 950 acres of farmland, helping preserve the open space for generations to come.

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.

Offered at eight 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 exercise 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.

The majority of the horses that come to TRF are not able to have a traditional secondary athletic career. 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’s herd is aged 20 and older.

It is only with the help of donors that TRF can continue to provide a dignified and well-deserved retirement to these incredible animals.

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