The TRF is the world's oldest and largest equine rescue organization. Founded in 1982 to provide a safe haven for racehorses no longer able to compete, it now provides lifetime, dignified retirement to a permanent horse population while finding suitable adoptive homes and second careers for hundreds of others annually.
Fred Winters, former president of the Kentucky Thoroughbred Farm Managers Club, a longtime farm manager at several prominent Lexington-area farms and a partner in Equine Farm Management Inc., was named the Director of Operations of the Thoroughbred Retirement Foundation Jan. 23. He will assume the post immediately.The 51-year-old New York native is a graduate of Arizona State University's College of Agriculture and brings nearly 30 years of experience managing Kentucky farms to the TRF.His duties for the TRF will include overseeing the care, rehabilitation, and maintenance of all TRF horses at 33 facilities in 18 states and streamlining information sharing and communication among all TRF horse care providers. Additionally, he will organize bulk purchasing of supplies and services.He will be based in the TRF's Midway, Kentucky office until the construction of the TRF Secretariat Center is completed at the Kentucky Horse Park."I've always had a strong feeling for the importance of volunteerism, and as such, I have spent time working with KEMI (the Kentucky Equine Management Internship Program), and the Kentucky Equine Institute," said Winters, who created the Animal Welfare Committee while president of the Kentucky Farm Managers. "I think everybody needs to give something back. In considering this position, it struck me that I had participated for nearly 30 years in creating this situation and I felt as if I owed it to the horse to see what I could do about rectifying it."The position is a newly created one for the TRF. Said Executive Director Diana Pikulski, "Our goal is to stop the slaughter of Thoroughbred racehorses and we are steadily gaining on that goal. But to do so, and to care for the nearly 700 horses in our daily care, to complete our imminent expansion plans in five states, and to continue to administer a very active adoption program, we required a full-time person to oversee the operations of this vast organization. We were lucky to find Fred."