The Thoroughbred Retirement Foundation, the largest organization in the world dedicated to the rescue, retirement, and adoption of Thoroughbred racehorses, and the Florida Department of Corrections, invites the public to attend an open house at its Lowell Correctional Institution’s Second Chances Farm. This free event will take place on Friday, March 8 from 11 a.m. – 2 p.m. with a brief formal program at noon.
“We want to offer our supporters, local leadership, the Thoroughbred racing community, potential adopters, and the general public a chance to see our life-changing racehorse retirement and vocational program up close,” said Lisa Craig, TRF’s Annual Fund Director who is coordinating the event.
“We appreciate the partnership of The Thoroughbred Retirement Foundation and partners in the Ocala community and their help to provide inmates employability skills to prepare them for integration back in the community,” said Florida Department of Corrections Secretary Mike Crews. “It is a win-win for all involved.”
The farm is currently home to 42 ex-racehorses who receive supervised care from non-violent female offenders participating in a vocational training program in Equine Care Technology. After their release, many graduates of the Second Chances program have used their new skills to help acquire jobs within the equine industry and beyond, and are often quick to credit their equine teachers with helping turn their lives around.
The open house will include a meet-and-greet with the horses, demos of adoptable horses ridden by current offender-students, farm tours, and brief formal program that will feature a recent Second Chances graduate who is successfully employed in the local equine industry. Light refreshments will be served. Admission is free but an RSVP is requested. Please visit www.trfinc.org for details.
Media is invited to arrive at 10:00 a.m. to get B-roll and other footage for their use and interview inmates in the program.