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Rick Scott, Governor
Florida Department of Corrections, Secretary Michael D. Crews

Florida Department of Corrections
Michael D. Crews, Secretary


For Immediate Release
January 11, 2001
For More Information
Contact: Don Gladish,
(352) 401-6400
or Jo Ellyn Rackleff
(850) 410 4252

Grand Opening:
The Florida Thoroughbred Retirement Farm
at Marion Correctional Institution

"The best thing for the inside of a man
is the outside of a horse," Will Rogers
WHO: The Florida Department of Corrections, Marion CI, and the Thoroughbred Retirement Foundation (TRF). TRF was formed in 1982 and is a non-profit organization, funded by private donations.
 
WHAT:

Grand opening of the Florida Thoroughbred Retirement Farm and correctional equine program training facility. The farm provides pasture and shelter for retired race horses. The inmate training program provides instruction in the care for horses that have either sustained an injury or are not able to perform at their peak.

"We are providing good character-building inmate training, and a haven to these once heroes of the track," said Florida Secretary of Corrections Michael W. Moore. "We advertise and promote the horses as courageous creatures when they're doing well, but it can be another thing when they are not serving our purpose," said Michael Chronin, chairman of the TRF board, Florida division. Marion CI Warden Don Gladish added, "The partnership between the TRF and DOC is a win-win proposition. The training will prove beneficial to inmates and to the horse industry."

 
WHEN: Tuesday, January 16 at 8:30 am. Continental breakfast and opening ceremonies.
 
WHERE: At the thoroughbred retirement facility near Marion CI. on State Road 25A.
 
WHY: Upon release inmates will be employable as stable attendants, groomers or exercisers. The program teaches all aspects of equine care including: farm maintenance, basic care, grooming, nutrition, caring for lame horses, breeding management and geriatrics for the older horse. The equine training program is the result of a partnership between DOC and the TRF. The program will train inmates to rehabilitate retired thoroughbred racehorses for use by the Department of Corrections and other law enforcement agencies, adoption by the general public, and provide life-long retirement for some horses. The program requires that inmates pass both written and performance tests. Upon completion of the program inmates receive a vocational certificate in equine care. The first two horses arriving at the farm this week are Caterista (b 1989) and Tonidar (b 1992).

Photo of entrance to horse farm at Marion C.I.

Directions to horse facility: Take I -75 to exit 71 (north of Ocala). Travel east to stop light which is the intersection of state road 25A and 326. Turn left traveling north. Drive past Marion CI's entrance approximately 1/4 mile and it will be the first road on the right. Once on this road, at the top of the hill, veer off to the right, this is the driveway to the horse barn. There will be signs posted.