10/27/2011 4:44PM

Thoroughbred Retirement Foundation seeks help


LEXINGTON, Ky. – The Thoroughbred Retirement Foundation has issued what it called “an urgent plea” to horsemen and farm owners to serve as foster facilities for pasture-sound Thoroughbreds currently residing at the foundation’s 30 satellite facilities.

The charitable organization, which cares for retired racehorses, will reimburse foster facilities for veterinary and farrier services, if requested. The group would like to identify 100 farms to take between two and five horses each for at least a year under the foundation’s Foster Care Program.

The goal is to reduce the cost of caring for the group’s more than 1,100 horses at a time when hay and feed costs have gone up and donations have dwindled. The foundation’s chief executive, Rob Hinkle, said the group needs to place 200 to 300 horses in foster care immediately while also increasing donations.

“Simultaneous with TRF’s implementing its Foster Care program, TRF is accelerating its adoption efforts to reduce its herd size,” Hinkle said.

The organization’s charter doesn’t allow it to euthanize horses purely for financial reasons.

The foundation came under fire earlier this year after the New York Times alleged that many of its horses were in poor condition. But Hinkle, who joined the organization in May, said “farm visits, vet reports, and TRF data indicated that the condition of the herd is very good, even among the older horses.”

To volunteer as a foster facility, contact (859) 246-3080 or rhinkle@thoroughbredretirement.org. More information is available at www.trfinc.org via the “Foster A Horse” button.