Photo Credit Debby Thomas Photography and Art

Welcome to the Thoroughbred Retirement Foundation at James River

The Thoroughbred Retirement Foundation is the oldest and largest equine sanctuary of its kind in the world. It was founded with one purpose in mind -- to save Thoroughbred horses no longer able to compete on the racetrack from possible neglect, abuse, and slaughter. The James River chapter was founded in 2007 as one of the Second Chances programs where horses live at correctional centers. At James River Work Center offenders care for the horses and become certified in the nationally acclaimed Groom Elite program in the process. The horses here are assured a lifetime of care with the opportunity to be adopted out if suited. Our success stories confirm that our program is horses helping people, people helping horses.


For release: January 22, 2015

DOSWELL, VA – The annual Secretariat Birthday Celebration at The Meadow Event Park in Caroline County will have extra horsepower this year. Fans can enjoy an even bigger celebration for “Big Red” at his birthplace as a major highlight of the new Virginia Horse Festival, March 27-29.

Over the three days, the Secretariat birthday festivities will include:
•   Celebrity appearances and autograph signings by members of the Secretariat team
•   A VIP reception and program in Meadow Hall mansion
•   Visits with local Secretariat descendants
•   An extensive selection of Secretariat merchandise for purchase
•   Special Secretariat and Meadow Stable memorabilia on display
•   Narrated tram tours of the farm, including special VIP tours with members of the Secretariat team
•   An Open House at Meadow Hall featuring the Meadow Champion Galleries, Triple Crown Room and Museum of the Virginia Horse

An exciting new feature this year is the Meadow Descendants Gathering. Horses who have Secretariat or other famous Meadow champions in their pedigrees will parade into the show ring for a “family reunion.” They will be greeted by members of the Secretariat team, who will pose for photos with the horses.

“This gathering will demonstrate the continuing influence of the Meadow bloodlines, as well as highlight the versatility of retired racehorses, many of whom have found new careers off the track,” said Leeanne Ladin, Secretariat tourism manager at The Meadow. The event is being presented by, the Retired Racehorse Project, the Thoroughbred Retirement Foundation at James River and the Secretariat tourism program at The Meadow. See for more information and an entry form for the Meadow Descendants Gathering, as well as for birthday event updates.

Several of the birthday activities are included in general admission to the Virginia Horse Festival, which is $10 online at and $15 at the gate. The VIP reception and program requires a separate ticket, available on the festival website. Tram tickets will be available each day onsite at the birthday event.

The Virginia Horse Festival celebrates horses and riding disciplines of all types with three days of clinics and demonstrations with top clinicians; a parade of breeds; an exhibit hall full of equine industry vendors; special events; and much more. Tickets go on sale soon at

Secretariat was born at The Meadow on March 30, 1970. He was raised and first trained there as a young colt. In 1973, he made history as the only Triple Crown champion to break all three track records, all of which still stand. Today, The Meadow offers narrated “Hoofprints of History” tours of Secretariat’s birthplace from March to December.

The Virginia Horse Festival and of Louisville, Ky., are co-hosting the Secretariat Birthday Celebration at The Meadow. The Meadow Event Park is owned by the Virginia Farm Bureau Federation. oversees the development and management of all official Secretariat-related merchandise and events.

Contact: Leeanne Meadows Ladin,, 804-363-1683; Leonard Lusky, at, 502-893-7997

The gorgeous head of Watch My Lass is one of the stunning Debby Thomas Photography and Art? photos in our 2015 calendar. They are ready now and make wonderful gifts for your barn mates and other friends. They are $20 each and we will ship to you. Send a check payable to TRF at James River to P.O. Box 112, Crozier, VA 23039. Mark clearly on the memo line how many calendars you are ordering.

   Thoroughbred Retirement Foundation Featured in the "The Wound and the Gift"   

Our program was featured in a film recently, The Wound and the Gift, stories about what rescued animals give back to us. Enjoy this three minute clip from the film.

To view the clip go to The Wound and the Gift TRF Clip

Covert Action, a grandson of Secretariat, enjoyed making new friends at the State Fair of Virginia on the 25th anniversary of the passing of the great Secretariat. Photo courtesy of Joe Allred.

Open Barn at James River Work Center September 14

The Fall Open Barn was a wonderful day. Here is one of our teaching assistants, Ben, with his family and one very happy horse, soaking up the love. This tells the story of the day quite well.

Horses For Adoption, Sponsoring

Click an image to view our horses available for adoption and sponsoring.

Performance Horses
For Adoption

Pleasure Horses
For Adoption

Pasture Mates
For Adoption

A Horse

TRF at James River Program

The Second Chances program at the James River Work Center was the subject of a recent video by Voice of America that will be tranlated into 46 languages to show the world the good side of America. Photo courtesy of Julie Taboh of Voice of America.
Video opens to a new window

Secretariat’s Grandson, Virginia Inmate Find a Common Bond in Greener Pastures Program

Photo reprinted with permission from the Washington Post

Former Virginia state inmate, Tamio Holmes, who learned to be a farrier in prison, has returned as a free man to work on Covert Action, grandson of Secretariat.
Read the entire article: Washington Post Article

Save your Southern States Proofs of Purchase

Don't forget to save your Southern States Proofs of Purchase to help support our horses. You may send them to us at P.O. Box 112, Crozier, VA 23039 or e-mail us at and we will arrange to pick them up. You may even schedule a visit if you would like to bring them to us and see the horses.

Connect With TRF at James River

Click the image below to support TRF at James River.

Make a Gift to the Thoroughbred Retirement Foundation at James River TRF at James River on Facebook

| Home | Horses | Events | Shop | Donate | Privacy | Contact | Links |

The TRF is a 501(c)(3) charitable organization, funded entirely by donations from the general public,
private grant sources and the Thoroughbred racing industry. All contributions are fully tax deductible.
Copyright © 2012 James River Horses