About Us

13The SC TRF at Wateree River Correctional Institution offers a place of hope and renewal…a true second chance…for both retired Thoroughbred race horses and prison inmates. This unique partnership joins others across the country to pair these remarkable equine athletes with specially selected inmates, transforming the lives of both horses and men.

Thousands of Thoroughbreds are born each year. While a tiny fraction of those become household names, others are injured, or simply too slow to be successful. Some never even make it to the racetrack. Regardless, once their careers on the track have ended, most have nowhere to go. That’s where we come in – because we believe each of these wonderful horses deserves a loving new home or a dignified retirement.

The Second Chances program offers inmates the opportunity to learn all about a horse’s anatomy and physiology, as well as how to feed, groom, and exercise them. In the process, they learn responsibility, patience, and teamwork. After graduating from the Groom Elite program within Second Chances, these inmates are well-trained and equipped with skills needed for employment in the equine industry or related areas.

The SC TRF would not exist without the support and assistance of the South Carolina Department of Corrections. The rolling pastures of the 110-acre farm where our horses reside are located on the institution’s grounds, and inmates enrolled in the Second Chances program provide day-to-day care for them. In addition, a decade of experience has shown that the inmates who graduate from the Second Chances program are far more likely to lead healthy and productive lives upon release.