Kentucky sanctuary farm for retired thoroughbreds to open to the public in Oldham County

After their racing careers are over, these thoroughbreds are living out the rest of their lives in the field, enjoying the Kentucky weather.

PROSPECT, Ky. — Retired racehorses have a new place to call home in Prospect and the public will be able to pay them a visit. 

Thoroughbred Retirement Foundation is opening a one-of-a-kind farm that will give racing fans a direct connection to the horses at the center of the sport.

“All the horses in our herd are registered thoroughbreds with the Jockey Club, they've all raced at least one time,” TRF Director of Major Gifts and Giving Kim Weir said.

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But now as older thoroughbreds, they get to relax a bit. The horses get to live out their lives in a field, enjoying the good weather and visitors.

Two weeks ago the horses arrived at Chestnut Hall, a farm in Oldham County. It’s a unique space that was donated to the Thoroughbred Retirement Foundation by businessman Bill Carstanjen. The farm is surrounded by neighborhoods.

“Our neighbors are immediately learning what these horses’ personalities are,” Farm Manager Alyssa Carinder said.  

The horses’ jobs now are to educate visitors and show them what happens to racehorses when their careers are over.

They’re teaching a lot more than that too.

“They teach us to be patient. They teach us to be kind,” Weir said. “They teach us to be confident and calm.”

The horses at Chestnut Hall are between 15 and 25 years old. Some horses also come to the sanctuary younger if they were injured while racing. In between their careers and the time they come to the farm, they might have another athletic career like show jumping or mounted patrol.

Now they’ve got a great team of people making sure they live out the rest of their lives happy and healthy.

“From two to six they work really really hard for their owners, and it's really important that we give them a great life afterward,” Carinder said.

Tours will open to the public in May, you can book a tour or check out the farm here.

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