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Jim Tremper has been with the Thoroughbred Retirement Foundation's Second Chances program at Wallkill Correctional Facility for over 30 years. Photo by Jessica Moore

‘Horses convert the toughest inmates’

Three decades having passed since he jackhammered concrete floors of an old dairy barn to make room for horses, Jim Tremper now looks back with pride on a little idea that turned a New York prison into a place of hope and second chances. Tremper, farm manager with Thoroughbred Retirement Foundation’s groundbreaking racehorse/prison program Second Chances was there the day a handful of inmates and security guards set about converting a 6,000 square foot barn into a shelter for unwanted retired racehorses and an old hayloft into a classroom to teach inmates horsemanship skills. And from his vantage as barn […]

Star of Reality was renamed Phoenix after she survived death that seemed imminent.

Star of Reality rises like the phoenix

In a clearing gnawed down by hungry horses trying to nourish themselves on the scrubland of the Cayman Islands, a Thoroughbred broodmare with an uncommonly gentle nature gave up on what life had handed her, and she lay down to die. It was such a warm day as Star of Reality folded her knees beneath her thin body and lowered herself to the earth. Her four years spent as an iron horse making full-tilt dashes toward the Finger Lakes finish line were long over, and her recently delivered chestnut-white Paint foal had been weaned and was in the bloom of […]

Valerie Ashker and Peter Friedman crossed into Ohio  as they get closer and closer to completing their 3,500-mile trek on horseback.

OTTBs reach Ohio in 3,500-mile trek, so close

Two off-track Thoroughbreds attempting to cross the United States in a 3,500-mile trek arrived in Ohio yesterday after a months long “epic milestone” journey, now nearly complete. Ambling over busy city bridges with cool confidence, then standing calmly amid youngsters who’d swarmed “like bees” from a city apartment complex to come and pet them, OTTBs Primitivo and Solar Express did what they’ve done since the trip began in May: they took it all in stride. Looking fit and healthy, the pair of bay Thoroughbreds carried riders Valerie Ashker and her boyfriend Peter Friedman past whizzing cars and looming buildings and […]