After spending many years helping to teach incarcerated inmates life skills and equine care, a lot of 10 retired Thoroughbreds boarded a van July 23 bound for Pasture of Point Lookout, a Chadds Ford, Pennsylvania-based sanctuary farm founded by world-renowned artist Jamie Wyeth in memory of his late wife Phyllis. On the anniversary of her passing Mr. Wyeth turned to longtime friends, Graham and Anita Motion of Herringswell Stables.
“To honor my late wife, Phyllis Mills Wyeth and her Belmont Stakes winner Union Rags, I am transforming our farm into a retirement sanctuary for racehorses,” Jamie Wyeth explained. “I view Pastures of Point Lookout as a lasting reminder of the contributions to the world of horse racing by Phyllis and her champion, Union Rags.”
Anita Motion will serve PPL as its executive director. The farm used by PPL has been modified to support the “pasture lifestyle” to which the TRF horses have become accustomed over their many years at the TRF Second Chances Program at Wallkill.
“It has been a remarkable experience to participate in the creation of Pastures of Point Lookout and to enable Mr. Wyeth to realize his dream for a legacy in his wife's honor,” said Anita Motion. “Watching the horses step off the van on Tuesday and soak in the beauty of their new home was genuinely like experiencing a dream come true.”
The horses will live together, as they did for so many years at Wallkill, in a natural pasture setting. Run-in sheds will provide shelter from the sun and inclement weather, water is available from a nearby stream flowing through the farm, and the two full-time farm managers will manage their hay and grain, to supplement the abundant grass of their 20 acre pasture. All expenses for the operation of the farm along with the feed, farrier and veterinary care required by these horses will be covered by Pastures of Point Lookout according to the TRF's Adoption Policies.
“When I first received Anita's call to share this idea in late January of this year, I could scarcely believe what I was hearing. It simply seemed too good to be true,” said Kim Weir, Director of Major Gifts and Planned Giving at the TRF. “In less than six months, and despite all the challenges we have faced around the world in 2020 due to COVID-19, the dream has become a reality. With this bold and generous gesture, Mr. Wyeth has given ten horses the happiest possible final chapter of their lives while saving twenty total – the ten adopted by PPL, and the next ten retired racehorses that the TRF can accept into our herd to take their places over the months ahead.”
To learn more about adopting a horse from the TRF at https://www.trfinc.org/adoptretire/