A new program delivered four retired racehorses to the Thoroughbred Retirement Foundation’s Second Chances at the Plymouth County Sheriff’s Farm in Plymouth, Mass., on Tuesday, Nov. 10, to be rehabilitated and cared for by inmates.
The TRF teamed up with Suffolk Downs to establish the program where inmates will learn to care for the horses as part of the facility’s vocational program. Participants will earn good-behavior credit, job skills and therapy.
The Fields Family Foundation, founded by Suffolk Downs’ principal owner Richard Fields, donated funds to help renovate an old dairy barn into the new horse facility.
One of the first horses to arrive was Future Fantasy, who won 11 races during his five-year career and earned $236,860. Retired racehorses Red Miah, Energy Center and Charlie Business weren’t far behind him.
“We are pleased and honored to be the first correctional agency in Massachusetts to participate in this worthy program,” said Plymouth County Sheriff Joseph D. McDonald, Jr. in a TRF press release. “This program is appropriately named as it will offer a true ‘second chance’ or new lease on life to both the retired Thoroughbred horses and our inmate trainees. To me, this is what our correctional mission is all about.”
“The sheriff and all of his staff exude the very sentiments that make the TRF program work so well. This is about horses and people helping each other,” said Diana Pikulski, TRF Executive Director.
The TRF program began at the Wallkill Correctional Facility in New York and has also been replicated at facilities in Kentucky, Florida, South Carolina, Iowa, Indiana, Virginia and Maryland.