A partnership between the Thoroughbred Retirement Foundation Program (TRF) and the Putnamville Correctional Facility over a year ago created a place for race horses that are no longer competitive or retired from racing, a new career, rehabilitation and retraining that leads to private adoption and provides an Equine Management Program for twenty offenders.
In exchange for the use of the land, labor and certain materials at the site, the facility designed, staffed and maintains the Equine Management Program that provides classroom instruction on Farrier Science, nutrition, equine law and business, and allows the offenders the opportunity to hone newly acquired skills.
Eight offenders at the Putnamville Correctional Facility have earned certificates after graduating from the program.
Students received hands-on training and classroom instruction on general stable procedures, horse behavior and psychology, tack care and selection, grooming, nutrition, equine health issues and first aid and health care.
Ten retired Thoroughbred racehorses from Indiana were used in the program. Six horses from out-of-state are also part of it. Among the horses is "Tin Man Acomin," the grandson of Triple Crown winner, "Secretariat. Other notable horses are retired here as well.
At full capacity the program will accommodate fifty horses from various states.
Horses aren't the only animals you can see in the pastures at Putnamville. The TRF program is also the home of "Ozzie" the llama who is named after Superintendent Michael "Ozzie" Osburn. Ozzie was donated to the facility to protect the horses from coyotes.
To build the stables, fallen trees on the facility grounds, were cut and processed by their lumber mill and used to build the stables. Renovation of the barn that was old and dilapidated was a cumulative effort between the offenders assigned to the Lumber Mill, Building Trades and Farm line work programs.