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Dr. Reid McLellan is the man who took a little idea to teach grooms how to bandage racehorses, and helped grow it into a program benefitting prisoners in the Thoroughbred Retirement Foundation's Second Chances program.

The man behind the plan to save horses, inmates

A racehorse trainer hitting the big time and inmates who are simply doing time, share a common bond that springs from a “little idea” fostered by Dr. Reid McLellan, many moons ago. McLellan, executive director and lead instructor of the Groom/Elite program— a horsemanship curriculum offered by the Thoroughbred Retirement Foundation in five of nine prisoner/racehorse programs across the country— was rooted in the concept that lessons from horses can transform lives. “The one thing a horse wants more than anything is peace and harmony and to know they’re not going to get eaten in the next 15 seconds,” McLellan […]

Nelly Madden, a graduate of the Thoroughbred Retirement Foundation’s Second Chances program, is the first licensed groom in Maryland racing.

Ex-con gets ‘second chance’ in racing industry

A Baltimore man has become the first graduate in the history of the Thoroughbred Retirement Foundation’s (TRF) Maryland-based Second Chances program—which teaches inmates horsemanship skills while caring for Thoroughbreds— to earn a groom’s license in the state of Maryland and a job at Laurel Park. Following a recent milestone decision by the Maryland racing authorities to issue a license, and a job offer by famous race trainer Hugh McMahon, who says he made the tender in part because “everyone needs forgiveness and a second chance,” Nelly Madden, 51, went to work for McMahon in December. And, upon graduation and release […]

Capt. Jack (JC: Well Ack Ack) enjoys a little fun pretending to be a pirate.

Photo of the week: Ahoy mateys!

When he isn’t hopping small jumps and presenting brag-worthy extended trots, Capt. Jack (JC: Well Ack Ack) is hamming it up with children’s book author and owner Nuala Calbari. In this photo, taken last year during a Memorial Day celebration at Kentucky Farms in Yorktown, Va., Capt. Jack shows off a crisp navy saddle pad while Calbari, left, and fellow equestrian Antonia Guardarrama don 17th-Century Tricorn Hats. “We decided to dress as pirates,” says Calbari, noting the chapeaus were suitably feathered in red, white and blue in honor of the holiday and combined military forces. When they’re not parading around, […]