News Briefs: TB charities buoyed by donors

Inmates in the Thoroughbred Retirement Foundation's Second Chance's program take care of ex-racehorses. Photo by EquiSportPhoto

Inmates in the Thoroughbred Retirement Foundation’s Second Chance’s program take care of ex-racehorses. Photo by EquiSportPhoto

TRF hosts Hay, Oats fundraiser
SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y., July 28, 2015 – The Third Annual “Hay, Oats & Spaghetti” dinner to support the Thoroughbred Retirement Foundation (TRF) hosted by Giuseppe and Lauren Grisio at Bravo! on Monday July 27 raised more than $11,000 for the world’s oldest and largest Thoroughbred aftercare organization.

“In three short years, this event has skyrocketed and shows exactly what is best about Saratoga,” said TRF Board member and Thoroughbred breeder Suzie O’Cain. “You have old friends reuniting, you have a generous community businessman who happens to own one of the best restaurants around, and it all comes together to benefit the horses, which is the reason why all of us are here in the first place.”

The Thoroughbred Retirement Foundation serves up spaghetti at successful Saratoga Springs fundraiser.

The Thoroughbred Retirement Foundation serves up spaghetti at successful Saratoga Springs fundraiser.

Previously held at Mama Mia’s Pizza & Cafe, owners Giuseppe and Lauren Grisio hosted “Hay, Oats & Spaghetti” at their new Bravo! restaurant to accommodate a larger crowd.

Among the approximately 200 in attendance were many personalities from Saratoga’s horse racing scene, including trainers Mike Hushion, Rick Violette Jr., H. James Bond and his wife, Tina; Ian Wilkes and his wife, Tracey, Carl Domino, and Richard Schosberg and his wife, Dawn; Joe and Anne McMahon of McMahon Thoroughbreds; Terry Finley of West Point Thoroughbreds; Tom Gallo of Parting Glass Racing; Saratoga philanthropist Michele Riggi and Saratoga Springs Mayor Joanne Yepsen. Other generous event sponsors included DeCresente, Saratogian, Adirondack Trust, Thorobred Feed Sales, and Saratoga Strategic Partners.

“The Foods of Anne Burrell,” also to benefit the TRF, will be held at The Canfield Casino in Congress Park on Sunday, August 9, Please visit for more details.

Founded in 1983, the TRF has rescued more than 4,000 former racehorses and retrained many of them for a variety of second careers. TRF horses have gone on to careers in the show ring, on the trail, and as companion horses. They have become healers in equine therapy programs serving veterans, amputees, and others in need. They work as teachers in the TRF Second Chances program, where inmates provide care for the horses while learning valuable life and vocation skills. TRF horses who can’t go on to a second careers are given lifetime retirement in the TRF herd. Currently, the TRF has more than 900 horses in its care at 24 farms across the country. The TRF is a 501 (c)(3) and depends fully on philanthropic support.

Kentucky Derby winner Silver Charm enjoys retirement at Old Friends Photo by Laura Battles

Kentucky Derby winner Silver Charm enjoys retirement at Old Friends. Photo by Laura Battles

ASPCA grant to Old Friends
GEORGETOWN, KY – JULY 28, 2015 – Old Friends, the Thoroughbred Retirement Farm in Georgetown, KY, has received a $15,000 grant from the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA®).

Old Friends founder and President Michael Blowen made the announcement today.

The grant is part of the ASPCA’s “Rescuing Racers Initiative,” which was established in 2009 to support horses impacted by the racing industry. Old Friends received two previous grants under this initiative, in 2010 and 2011, which were used for run-in sheds and the construction of new paddocks.

These project funds will be also be used to construct new run-in sheds on Old Friends’ expanded Georgetown facility.

Old Friends supports more than 150 retired racehorses in all, including a dozen on its satellite facility in New York, Old Friends at Cabin Creek: The Bobby Frankel Division.

Most recently Old Friends permanently retired Kentucky Derby and Preakness winner Silver Charm, multiple Grade 1 winner Game On Dude and Breeders’ Cup Sprint Champion Amazombie. The organization will welcome a second Kentucky Derby champion, 2002 winner War Emblem, in the fall.

The farm is open to tourists daily by appointment.

“We are so grateful for this funding and for the continued assistance from the ASPCA,” said Blowen. “Our horses live out most of the time, and run-in sheds are crucial to their well-being. This grant will help us prepare now for the coming winter,” Blowen added. “We appreciate the support and confidence the ASPCA has in Old Friends to continue its mission.”


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