Happenings, News, and Updates

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Meet Mickey'sinthehouse!! This beautiful girl, "Mouse" as the women are calling her, came to JRHF through a partnership with Aftercare Charles Town. Mouse will be with us for a period of time to rest and rehab from life as a racehorse before moving on for retraining and adoption. We are so excited for this opportunity to add to the education the women receive and to give Mouse a loving start to life after the racetrack. 
She is available for a short-term sponsorship or donate to her rehab by putting Mouse in the memo section.

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James River Horse Foundation is proud to be an accredited organization by the Thoroughbred Aftercare Alliance!

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James River Horse Foundation Merchandise Available!

James River Horse Foundation merchandise has arrived! We currently have t-shirts and hats available. 

T-shirts are $20 and are available in white, grey, and Carolina blue.

Hats are $25 and are available in red, grey, and midnight blue.

Please email us (jamesriverhorses@gmail.com) if you would like to purchase.

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2022 Spring Open Barn Cancelled Due to COVID-19

The State Farm Work Center is currently under a modified lock down to prevent this deadly virus we are dealing with from entering the facility. With all visitation cancelled, we have made the difficult decision to cancel our Spring Open Barn. Please rest assured that the horses are well cared for during this period and the offenders still go to the barn twice a day. As soon as a date is available for the Fall Open Barn, we will announce it here and on our social media. We wish everyone the best as we deal with the current situation. Stay safe.

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Barn 4 Bingo Night a Huge Success with Announcement of Thomas J Newton Horse Health Fund

Our first Barn 4 Bingo Night was a huge success! The Thomas J Newton Horse Health Fund, acknowledging Tom's many years of contribution to this program, got off to a great start. Thanks to your contributions, veterinary care for our herd for 2020 is secured! Thank you to all who attended and contributed and we look forward to seeing you next time!

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After 12 years of running the TRF Second Chances Program at the State Farm Work Center near Crozier, Virginia, the board of local volunteers has formed a new and independent charitable foundation, the James River Horse Foundation.

Read the article for more details!

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The State Farm Work Center in  Goochland, Virginia currently houses male offenders; those offenders are being relocated. As State Farm transitions from housing male offenders to housing female offenders, the Brunswick and Deerfield Women’s Work Centers will transition from housing female offenders to housing male offenders. All movement of offenders will be completed by Nov. 4, 2019.

For more details, please refer to the official press release.

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Thank You to our Derby Party Sponsors!

We would like to send a huge THANK YOU to our 2019 Kentucky Derby Party sponsors!! We greatly appreciate your generosity and support, and look forward to seeing you at our party!

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Local Girl Scout Troop Supports Covert Action at Spring Open Barn

Our annual Spring Open Barn was a huge success with an impressive turnout this year! One of our local Girl Scout troops even used their hard-earned cookie money to support Covert Action! Thank you everyone who made this Open Barn such a great one!

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Mark Gormus of the Richmond Times Dispatch recently visited our Second Chances program at the James River Work Center. Watch his video and then look out for his article in the paper on Monday, February 18!

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Happy Holidays

Happy holidays from everyone at barn 4! We hope your holiday season is joyous and 2019 brings many wonderful things your way!

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We Have a New Groom Elite Graduate!

On October 17, Schwartz received his Groom Elite certificate and is our newest graduate! Dr Reid Mclellan was on hand to present his certificate, and our barn manager CJ congratulated him on his high score! Our new class of men, as well as several board members, were also there to show support. We are so proud!

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Another Successful Fall Open Barn

Our 2018 Fall Open Barn was a huge success, with a wonderful turnout! Thank you to everyone who visited, and also to all our board members and volunteers!

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Barn 4 Cleanup Day

Barn 4 had a hay loft cleaning day to make sure we're ready for everyone at Open Barn on September 29! We'd like to thank all of the board members that came out to help, as well as Officer Clarke and the Groom Elite men! It certainly took a village!

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Two New Additions to Barn 4

Last week we welcomed Burn Up the Wire and Oh No Apolo to Barn 4. They are beautiful and kind and will be terrific additions to our herd. The men are very excited about getting to know these sweet geldings, and so are we!

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Recently, a few VCU students did their research project on our Greener Pastures program at James River. Their short documentary film recently aired on PBS, and is now viewable on YouTube. Click the link above to view the video and hear our current Groom Elite group talk about what the program means to them!

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Derby Day at The Meadow

This year we held our annual Derby Party at The Meadow, and it was a huge success! Our team worked hard and threw a wonderful party!
Congratulations to Justify!

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Our very own Robin Traywick Williams joined Leeanne Ladin (from The Meadow Event Park) on CBS' Virignia This Morning to promote our joint Kentucky Derby Party! Watch the video and come join us (and Bill Bevins!) at the party on May 5!

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2018 Spring Open Barn Draws New Sponsors

Another Open Barn, another sponsor! This time, Sweet Olympio (or at least one end of her!) won over the heart of Michelle Crawford, her new sponsor!

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Presence at Virginia Horse Festival

This year, we teamed up with Secretariat's tourism team at the Virginia Horse Festival to promote our joint Derby Party at The Meadow! We had multiple board members manning our booth over the weekend, spreading awareness of the party and James River Chapter in general!

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10th Anniversary Year Brings New Horses and New Sponsors

At the 2017 fall Open Barn, new arrival Red Sox Fever got the news that he has new sponsors, Anne Atkinson and Mary Atkinson. Where would we be without our wonderful sponsors?

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Our New Mascot Gets Love at Open Barn

Ollie certainly brought a smile to one visitor's face at our Spring Open Barn. He is one of the rescues from Peaceable Farm and thoroughly enjoys his new life meeting so many wonderful supporters of our program. He is a gentle and kind soul and quickly became our choice for our new "mascot"!


Photo by Debby Thomas.

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Read this wonderful article written about some of the men in the Second Chances program here at James River!

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Officer Shane Clarke discusses how his career path led him to the Virginia Department of Corrections and the horsemanship program he admired so much, such that he jumped in and took the classes himself.

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Derby Hat Contest a Hit at our 2016 Derby Party

Derby hats galore at the annual Kentucky Derby party held this year at the Deep Run Hunt Club. A break in the rain allowed us to enjoy the patio and lovely view of the hunter trials field.
Photo by Debby Thomas

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Another Successful Open Barn

The Spring Open Barn on Sunday, April 26, was full of inspiration and positive energy as visitors heard from the men about what the horses and the program have meant to them.


We thank everyone for sharing the beautiful day with us.

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Program Receives Commendation

Delegate Peter Farrell, who represents Goochland, Louisa and Henrico, presented a General Assembly resolution commending the TRF's Second Chances program at the James River Work Center during the spring Open Barn. Accepting the resolution are chapter president, Stephanie Nixon, past-president, Robin Williams, and Dr. Tom Newton.

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Grandson of Secretariat Makes Appearance at Thoroughbred Heritage Horse Show

Covert Action being groomed for his appearance in the Meadow descendants parade at the recent Thoroughbred Heritage Horse Show. Marcia McCormick, Anne Tucker, and Janis Paiva are making sure he looks his best.


We were so proud to be a part of this wonderful celebration of Off the Track Thoroughbreds performing in hunter, jumper and dressage, with a few Western pleasure and trails horses, as well.


Photo courtesy of Linda Passaretti.

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2014 Annual Kentucky Derby Party

Another great Kentucky Derby party at the Wine Loft raised needed funds for the horses at James River. Pictured left to right are Karen Fowler, Stephanie Nixon, and Jennifer Berdell. Huge thanks to these gals and all who helped make the party such a success. Congratulations to California Chrome!

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Secretariat’s grandson, Virginia inmate find a common bond in Greener Pastures program

Former Virginia state inmate, Tamio Holmes, who learned to be a farrier in prison, has returned as a free man to work on Covert Action, grandson of Secretariat.

Photo reprinted with permission from the Washington Post

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Multiple Choice Named “Mr. TRF” Second Chances Stakes 2013 Winner

The Thoroughbred Retirement Foundation at James River partnered with Colonial Downs to celebrate retired racehorses through the first-ever “Mr. TRF” Second Chances Stakes June 29, 2013 on Ladies Night. After thousands of fan votes online, three horses from TRF at James River traveled to Colonial Downs for final voting with Multiple Choice hoofing-it into the Winner’s Circle as Barn 4’s “Mr. TRF” Second Chances Stakes Winner. In addition to the “Mr. TRF” competition, TRF took in enough donations online and at the track to care for one horse in the herd for a full year, which on average is $2,500.

Pictured from left to right: Dr. Tom Newton; Robin Richards, Virginia breeder and national president of the Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association; Nancy Philpy; Deirdre Feeney; Chelsey Keiser, jockey who placed the wreath in honor of all racehorses; Robin Williams, former national president of TRF and founder of James River Chapter; Jennifer Ernst; Anne Tucker, president of James River chapter; Jeanna Bouzek, representing Colonial Downs; Ari Brothers; and Stephanie Nixon.

Photo courtesy of Coady Photography.

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2013 Winner's Circle Award Goes to Stephanie Nixon

Anne Tucker, chapter President (on the right), and Jennifer Berdell, party co-host and board member (in the center), present the 2013 Winner's Circle award to Stephanie Nixon. This award is given annually to an individual or group who have demonstrated extraordinary dedication to Thoroughbred aftercare.

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Run for the Horses

Pictured is our Run for the Horses team that participated in the 8K phase of the 2012 Richmond Marathon on November 10. These runners and walkers raised over $3000 for the horses.


We thank the team and the many people who supported them and us. We are especially grateful to board member Jennifer Berdell for organizing it. Besides Jennifer, team members included Dr. Doug Daniels, Dr. Lindsay Neist, Teresa Garbee, Beth Brown, Barbara Ruqus, Scott Richeson, Anne Tucker, Lynn Stonnell, Allison Stoltz and Nancy Philpy. Good job everyone!

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Generous Donation from Local 4H Club

Maggie Phipps, from the 4H group Huguenot Show Hunters, presented $250 that the girls had raised to Jennifer Ernst and Anne Tucker to be used toward the care of Jonathon's Gal (JG). Jason had JG looking her best for the presentation.

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James River Horse Foundation: Dedication and Service with Proven Impact

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Lessons Learned: The Key to Non-Profit Program Evaluation

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How Volunteering in San Francisco Can Make a World of Difference

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Local Non-Profit Makes a Splash with Summer Fundraiser

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From Idea to Reality: The Evolution of James River Horse Foundation

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