January 2021 Newsletter:
Happy New Year from the TRF!

By Francis LaBelle
           Len Jagoda had every intention of pursuing art as his life's work. He knew he had talent, which was confirmed when he was awarded a scholarship to the Cleveland Institute of Art. Unfortunately, this intention was not shared by the United States Army, and he was drafted into service at the height of the Vietnam War.
           It took nearly 40 years and the death of his kid brother, Gary, to bring Jagoda back to his art, which highlights his love for animals, particularly horses and dogs. His artwork has now achieved international recognition. In recent years, Jagoda has generously donated prints to support the Thoroughbred Retirement Foundation's annual auctions. 

We Accomplished A Lot Last Year!
Thank you to all of you who loyally stood by us in a challenging year. We are humbled by your generosity and dedication to the TRF horses. We are looking forward to a new chapter and new year.
We want to bring a smile to your day by sharing Fran LaBelle's 2020 News.

Horses always come first with the Thoroughbred Retirement Foundation. That has been true since our founding in 1983 and proven by the thousands of former racehorses that the TRF has rescued, re-homed, and given sanctuary to for all these years. Whether or not that would continue was a stark reality in 2020 when COVID changed everything. The year began with plenty of promise and a calendar filled with activities and events. Within months, the best laid plans were now in jeopardy, and the team at the TRF felt the heavy burden of what was at stake
TRF Second Chances Says Thank you and Best Wishes to Alyssa Haney
Vandalia's Farm Manager is Off to Follow Her Dreams
It is with a heavy heart and warm thanks that we wish Alyssa Haney, Farm Manager and Vocational Instructor at the TRF Second Chances Program at the Vandalia Correctional Complex in Illinois best wishes on her future endeavors! We cannot thank her enough for her dedication to TRF. The impact she has made on lives of both horses and humans alike will be felt for years to come.  

Since 2017, Alyssa, not only created an environment of learning and care, she expanded it. Alyssa oversaw and executed expansion of paddocks and the building of an additional run-in shed that everyone at the facility took pride in. She worked to certify the men who wanted to create better lives for themselves, and to care for the retired racehorses that call Vandalia home. She faithfully cared for a herd of over 35 retired Thoroughbred and oversaw with brilliance some senior and aging horses with special needs. Not only did those horses flourish with under her care but she was able to use those opportunities as educational tools in her in her curriculum and teach the participants those special skills.
Alyssa is now on to new endeavors. The TRF is sad to see her go, but wishes her well and is happy she is pursuing of her dreams. We are proud to have had her on our team. We are grateful for her and leadership in ensuring a smooth transition to the new instructor! She has been a great teacher as well as advocate for horses and humans alike.
Good luck Alyssa, we will miss you!
Who do you love? Valentine's Day is around the corner!
Do you have a special someone that you think deserves a Gift of Love? Send them a special Valentine's Day gift from the horses at the TRF. This year the TRF is offering two ways to send a card to your loved one. This is a wonderful gift for anyone!
This year, we will offer an e-card or a mailed card for your special someone. Since we want your gift to arrive on time, print cards will need to be mailed by February 7th from our office, but you can still purchase a thoughtful e-Card until February 11th , More information will be coming soon, but if you want to get a jumpstart on Valentine's Day click below!
Meet our Sponsor Horses of the Month!
Ready Get Set
Resides at our Blackburn Correctional Complex Second Chances Program in Kentucky. Ready is a Kentucky boy through and through. He was also bred and foaled there in 2013, as well as raced most of his races there. This guy makes for an excellent teacher. With his curious personality, we don't question why he is a favorite, but do know he needs more sponsors!
Heavy Horton
Foaled in 2000, Horton is still very young at heart. This guy may be roaring through his 20's, but he is a class clown. He has a personality nobody can resist. "Horty" lives at our TRF Sanctuary Farm in northern Virginia. He is known pick pocket looking for cookies from the farm staff. We want someone to appreciate this guy as much as we do, would you like to be his sponsor?
Help Offer Our Horses a Lifetime of Safety
TRF Ambassador's Corner
Help us recognize and celebrate our amazing TRF Ambassadors who use their talents to benefit the horses in unique and inspiring ways.

Thank you for helping us raise awareness and support for the TRF Herd!!!
First, we want to recognize Julia Adams. Julia has been a huge supporter of the TRF for many years. She adopted TRF horse Lord Anson many years ago. Additionally she raises money for the TRF with her creative, unique horse hair jewelry, holding several personal fundraisers to benefit the herd.

We also want to say a special thank you to talented photographer, OTTB lover and blogger, Juli Phillips, VisperaLife. Juli had a virtual yard sale in honor of her retired racehorse, Eve, that benefitted the TRF herd and she also donated a blanket to our Sanctuary Farm in Front Royal, VA.

Interested in becoming a TRF Ambassador or creating your own personal fundraising page?
Volunteer Spotlight
Mary Estelle Ryckman
Saratoga Springs, NY
Our volunteers across the country are the "magic ingredient" in many of the TRF's teams projects. Starting in January 2021, we'll shine the spotlight on one volunteer each month. Our hope is to celebrate the contributions of a handful whose stories represent the many "friend of the herd" who help us throughout the year and across the country and to inspire new volunteers to "join the herd".

In her own words:
"I'm thankful to the TRF circle of volunteers, because I took a leap of faith to move up here (Saratoga) from DC not knowing anyone.

Finding the community of the TRF has been a godsend. I've so enjoyed meeting all of the people I've met through the TRF. I am grateful to have found such a wonderful group where I fit in and feel at home....and I get to see horsies all the time too, which I love." ​
Celebrating Mary:
Mary joined the TRF volunteer team in April 2019 and took on the task of organizing the new TRF volunteer program as our first Volunteer Coordinator in December 2019. By March of 2020, she had developed a clear process for the TRF to manage the information and engage the interests of our amazing volunteers across the country. Beyond her assistance in establishing our Volunteer Coordinator role, Mary remains one of our most enthusiastic "meet and greet" volunteers - always ready to take on a role in the "front of the house" where she can share her love and enthusiasm for the horses of the TRF.

We appreciate you Mary!

Online Shopping? Check out TRF's Store!
The TRF has restocked and revamped our merchandise. Don't forget to visit the the TRF's On-line Store for gift items that are sure to please all horse lovers.
Knit winter caps, T-shirts, masks, hand sanitizers, TRF baseball caps, canvas tote bags, water bottles and plush ponies are among the items available. Also, keep in mind if you are shopping on Amazon, use AmazonSmile and with no extra cost to you money will be donated to the TRF. Looking for hoodies and specialty clothes? Old Smoke donates a portion of all TRF gear sales to us! Check out these links below!
Guidestar Platinum 2020
Thoroughbred Retirement Foundation
P.O. Box 834
Saratoga Springs, NY 12866