Second Chances Stables, at the Wateree River Correctional Institute near Camden, South Carolina, the Thoroughbred Retirement Foundation's TRF newest retirement farm, will officially open during ceremonies to be held there Saturday, Nov. 19. Second Chances is a new program in the state, established in cooperation with the TRF and the state's Department of Corrections. Through the Second Chances program, retired thoroughbred horses are cared for by prison inmates who gain marketable skills in the South Carolina horse industry.John Rainey, a Columbia, South Carolina attorney and philanthropist, helped raise nearly $250,000 to cover the startup costs at the facility as well as the cost of the first year of its operation.Jared's Shadow, owned by Anne and John Rainey of Columbia, will be on hand at the inauguration of the prison program, unloaded along with two other horses at the facility at ceremonies at 11:00 a.m. The Raineys have applied to the Jockey Club to have the horse renamed Hot Biscuit. The 4-year-old, who was retired after running ninth in a $3,500 claiming race July 5 at Evangeline Downs, was acquired by the Raineys by South Carolina-based bloodstock agent Kip Elser. The facility will provide a corrections officer, inmate labor and feed grown on the site to operate and sustain the stable, along with the 110 acres of pasture dedicated to the program which will eventually be home to 50-60 retired racehorses.
TRF, which cares for more than 875 retired Thoroughbreds, has on-going programs at correctional facilities in New York, Florida, Maryland and Kentucky.