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Second Chances Farm Has a New Run-In Shelter

June 22, 2011 - When America’s eighth inmate-run horse rescue farm opened at Central Maryland Correctional Facility in Sykesville in 2009, DPSCS Secretary Gary Maynard said he eventually wanted to add more horses and more inmates to the program. Thanks to a donation this spring from a private citizen, the farm is moving closer to that goal.

On June 22, Second Chances dedicated a new run-in shelter that allows the farm to provide bad weather protection for more horses. The 12x32-foot shelter was built largely by inmates under the supervision of correctional maintenance officers. Its materials were purchased thanks to a $5,000 donation by a private citizen from Anne Arundel County who visited the farm once and was so impressed, he wanted to help out. His donation to the Thoroughbred Retirement Foundation, DPSCS’ partner, allowed the shelter to become a reality.

Since 2009, Second Chances has taught 24 inmates equine care in the field and in the classroom. Seven of those men have gone all the way through the curriculum to earn Groomsman Elite certificates, including three who got theirs directly from Secretary Maynard on June 22.

The farm currently has four horses, some of which may well have faced the slaughterhouse but for the existence of the Thoroughbred Retirement Foundation and innovative programs like Second Chances Farm.

Eventually, Secretary Maynard would like to have 30 or more horses and a dozen or more inmates on the farm at one time. Thanks to the new run-in shelter, some of that expansion may occur before too long.