The Thoroughbred Retirement Foundation (TRF) will open a first-of-its kind farm designed to give the Louisville community and fans from around the world a direct connection to the horses at the heart of horse racing. The new TRF Sanctuary Farm at Chestnut Hall will be the permanent home of 11 horses from the organization's national herd of 500 retired Thoroughbred racehorses. These “herd ambassadors” will serve as educators to tell the story of the long life and diverse second careers that await these equine athletes when their racing days are done.
Located on nearly 30 acres of historic farmland in Oldham County and featuring a farmhouse restored to serve as an event venue, Chestnut Hall has been created for the express purpose of connecting Thoroughbred horses to the people of Louisville, the Commonwealth of Kentucky and beyond. Starting in mid-May, the farm will be open to the public for tours through Visit Horse Country and will be available as a unique venue for educational events and fundraisers for nonprofits across the Louisville community.
The TRF Sanctuary Farm at Chestnut Hall represents the realization of a dream of Bill Carstanjen, CEO of Churchill Downs Incorporated. The new farm has been created as a gift to the horses of the Thoroughbred Retirement Foundation and the citizens of Kentucky. On behalf of his family and community, Carstanjen was moved to purchase the property in Prospect to protect the historic farmhouse and pasture land from residential development. Over the course of the past year, Carstanjen has personally overseen the restoration of the 25+ acre property to its former beauty as an active horse farm.
“Thoroughbred horses have enriched the lives of countless citizens and visitors to Louisville throughout history, but very few opportunities exist for the community to experience and interact with these extraordinary animals,” said Kim Weir, the Director of Major Gifts and Planned Giving for the Thoroughbred Retirement Foundation. “It is with this goal in mind that Mr. Carstanjen restored the horse farm and historic home at Chestnut Hall with the express intention of giving the gift of the horses to the community of Louisville. Together, it is our hope that the TRF Sanctuary Farm at Chestnut Hall will provide a venue for education, inspiration and imagination for many years to come.”