Polly Bance and Bill Collins delivered the first Thoroughbred Retirement Foundation horses to James River Correctional Center’s Barn 4 last on Sept. 6, 2007. After 18 months of anticipation,
counselor and program coordinator Heather Mitchell was overjoyed at the sight of those horse trailers. The horses came from Polly’s TRF herd of ex-racehorses. Inmates, staff and volunteers were all smiles. Barn 4 looks great after its renovation, and the field allotted to the horses has good new fencing and wonderful grazing.

Polly had the horses looking good, and Southern States (Farmville and Broad Street) had donated new halters (among many other supplies). Debby Thomas took a photo for each horse’s file, as well as dozens of candid shots to commemorate the day. Doug Daniels, DVM, came by and went over each horse with each new handler. The six men in the work-training program are all doing a great job caring for the horses. They are absorbing every bit of equine information as fast as we can give it to them. Reid McLellan, developer of the Groom Elite curriculum, came back Sept. 20-21 to get everyone started on the formal training program.

Volunteers have been going over to Barn 4 every day to observe and occasionally assist. Everyone reports that seeing the inmates work with the horses is very heartwarming.
We are planning an Open House — tentatively set for Friday, November 9 (after the election, for those of you involved with that sort of stuff).

I snapped a few photos. — Robin Traywick Williams