The Thoroughbred Retirement Foundation is an innovative program that provides second chances to prison inmates and retired race horses facing uncertain futures. The first prison farm opened in 1983 at a correctional facility in New York. The program has since spread to 9 states. The inmates learn compassion and responsibility, while the horses – deemed unsuitable for riding due to past injuries – find a safe place to retire and new “jobs” to perform.
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The Putnamville Correctional Facility in Greencastle, Indiana initiated its program in May 2007. The prison farm sits on 100 lush acres and features a large red barn built with wood milled by the inmates. 29 retired thoroughbreds call Putnamville their home.
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Seven days a week, two to eight inmates are transported to the farm where they feed, groom and check the horses for injuries, as well as muck out stalls and perform general maintenance tasks around the barn. Many are studying to earn their Groom Elite certificates in hopes of starting new careers upon their release.
Since the program at the Putnamville Correctional Facility began, 64 inmates have graduated, five have earned a certificate from the new Groom Elite program, and 116 have received a reduction in their sentences.
The Thoroughbred Retirement Foundation also ensures that the horses in their care find permanent retirement at 16 private farms around the country. To learn more about this remarkable program and find out how you can help, visit their website.
H/T to USA Today
Featured Image via Facebook/Thoroughbred Retirement Foundation