A Quick Study on Track, Celestial City Now Teaches at Lowell

By Francis LaBelle, courtesy Thoroughbred Retirement Foundation Celestial City learned how to be a racehorse by continually proving himself against top competition. Each time he raced, he showed that the lessons he was learning were taking hold. Celestial City became a graded stakes winner, but just when his promising career was finally taking flight, he sustained an injury that ended his days as a racehorse. Now, he has a new home and a new purpose. On February 12, Celestial City joined the Thoroughbred Retirement Foundation's (TRF) herd at the Lowell...

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Former Jockey Purdom Finds His Calling at TRF Farm

Dean Purdom never lost confidence in his riding ability. He knew he had the skills. What he didn't have were the results. Purdom bounced all over the country, going from track to track until he wore out his welcome and headed to his next stop. The problem? He was trying to do the impossible, find success on the racetrack despite having an addiction to alcohol and cocaine. "I started back in the eighties," Purdom said. "I had a really promising career. I was the leading apprentice one meet at Pimlico....

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Sweet Named COO of Thoroughbred Retirement Foundation

Maggie Sweet has been named the new chief operating officer of the Thoroughbred Retirement Foundation (TRF), the Saratoga-based operation announced Monday. "We are thrilled to welcome Maggie Sweet to the Thoroughbred Retirement Foundation as our new Chief Operating Officer," said Patrick H. Mackay, Chairman of the Board of Directors at TRF. "Maggie's desire to support equine welfare, coupled with her extensive leadership experience, will undoubtedly contribute to the continued success and growth of our organization. Her skills and enthusiasm align seamlessly with our commitment to providing a dignified retirement for...

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'TRF Cheers To 40 Years' Day Staged at Keeneland

Highlighted by a special check presentation in the winner's circle, the leadership of Keeneland recognized October 20th as "TRF Cheers to 40 Years" Day at Keeneland in celebration of the Foundation's four decades of commitment to the welfare and retirement of Thoroughbred racehorses. The Thoroughbred Retirement Foundation (TRF) has been a pioneer in aftercare for retired racehorses since its founding in 1983. Joined by TRF Board Member Katie LaMonica and Warden Abby Caudill of Blackburn Correctional Complex, the Keeneland team presented the TRF with a donation of $4,000 toward the...

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TRF Launches 2023 Hay Drive with $60,000 Match Gift from Santulli Family Foundation

The Thoroughbred Retirement Foundation (TRF) has received a $60,000 matching gift from the Santulli Family Foundation to launch the 2023 Hay Drive. The annual drive ensures that the herd of 425 retired racehorses cared for by the TRF are fed through the winter. The TRF's goal to help fill the hay loft is $120,000. "We are deeply grateful to the Santulli Family Foundation for their unwavering support of our mission," Kelly Armer, Executive Director of the TRF, said. "This generous matching grant will help us provide the necessary care to...

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`They've Taught Me To Be Human Again'

No chance. I mean, you just had to take one look at the guy. The tattoos, the words tumbling nervously through gaps in his teeth, the sheer damage he's soaked up. You didn't have to look up his record. It was like he had an invisible ball and chain. So, no, thank you very much for asking, but we don't need any help right now. He could be someone else's problem. No chance? Not even one? That was all Chris Courtney wanted: a single opportunity to break the cycle, a...

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Former MLB Player Chris Carpenter to Sign Copies of 'The Long Shot'

Former MLB player Chris Carpenter will be on-hand at an exclusive pre-sale event in Saratoga Springs Wednesday, July 12, where attendees will have the opportunity to obtain autographed copies of his children's book, "The Long Shot." "The Long Shot" is a tale of perseverance and hope, inspired by the true story of a racehorse named Benbang. Each copy sold contributes to the Thoroughbred Retirement Foundation (TRF), a nonprofit organization dedicated to providing sanctuary and rehabilitation for retired racehorses. The autograph session will take place at 56 Union Avenue (on the...

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TRF Anniversary Golf Scramble Set for April 18

The Thoroughbred Retirement Foundation (TRF) will host a charity golf event at the Nevel Meade Golf Course in Prospect, KY, on Apr. 18 in celebration the organization's 40th anniversary. The event will begin with 12:30 p.m. registration and lunch, followed by a shotgun start at 2:00 p.m. Included in the registration fee are greens fees, cart, lunch, range balls, a sleeve of TRF logo golf balls, an embroidered green golf shirt with TRF logo, a TRF baseball hat and more. Prizes will be given for the 1st-, 2nd- and last-place...

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Kelly Armer Appointed TRF Executive Director

The Thoroughbred Retirement Foundation (TRF) Board of Directors announced the appointment of Kelly Armer as Executive Director following the forthcoming retirement of Pat Stickney. Assuming her new role Mar. 1, she will be based in the TRF administrative offices in Saratoga Springs, New York. Kelly Armer served 24 years at the Saratoga YMCA where she served as COO for 15 years.  More recently, she held the position of Development and Foundation Director for Saratoga Bridges, the largest nonprofit organization in New York State serving people with intellectual and developmental disabilities...

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Saratoga-Based Lazy Dog Cookie Co. Launches “Horse Bitscuits” To Benefit Retired Racehorses

Lazy Dog Cookie Company launched its first horse and pony treat--Horse Bitscuits--Jan. 1. Lazy Dog Cookie Co. will donate 15% of the profits raised by the treats to the Thoroughbred Retirement Foundation (TRF). Horse Bitscuits are available for purchase at local Saratoga retailers and customers across the United States may purchase them online through TRF Executive Director, Patricia Stickney, shared "The TRF is immensely grateful to Amy and Keith for including us as a beneficiary of their new product and promoting our mission of saving horses and changing lives."...

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TERF Awards $10K To TRF

Edited Press Release The Thoroughbred Education and Research Foundation (TERF) has awarded $10,000 to the Thoroughbred Retirement Foundation (TRF) to be used for educational reasons. In 2021, TERF funding provided for the accreditation of the vocational instructors in the Groom Elite Program. In alignment with their mission to support and promote equine education by supporting organizations that are educating the public on the proper care of horses, TERF offers their financial assistance in 2022. TRF will use the funds to purchase teaching aides and equipment to enhance the learning experience...

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Holiday Designer Show House at Chestnut Hall to Benefit TRF

The Thoroughbred Retirement Foundation will open the doors of Chestnut Hall at TRF Sanctuary Farm this December for the second annual Holiday Designer Show House to benefit the organization's herd of nearly 450 retired racehorses. The farmhouse will be decorated with exquisite decor in rooms designed by Cherry House Galleries, KP Design, Hound & Hare LLC, Jason Jennings Interior, Debhelin Designs, Living Spaces, Little Lavender Company, Julia Carstanjen, Mandeline Hetzel Interiors and All Lit Up. The event is being staffed by volunteers and friends of the Thoroughbred Retirement Foundation. The...

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