Thoroughbred Retirement Foundation opens new Sanctuary Farm near Louisville, Ky.

April 6, 2021

Chestnut Hall will connect the Louisville community with the TRF Thoroughbred horses

A national Thoroughbred aftercare charity with more than twenty years of history caring for retired Thoroughbred racehorses in the Commonwealth of Kentucky, the Thoroughbred Retirement Foundation (TRF) will open a first-of-its kind farm designed to give the Louisville community and fans from around the world a direct connection to the horses at the heart of horseracing. The new TRF Sanctuary Farm at Chestnut Hall will be the permanent home of 11 horses from the organization’s national herd of 500 retired Thoroughbred racehorses. These “herd ambassadors” will serve as educators to tell the story of the long life and diverse second careers that await these equine athletes when their racing days are done.

Located on nearly 30 acres of historic farmland in Oldham County and featuring a beautiful farmhouse restored to serve as an event venue, Chestnut Hall has been created for the express purpose of connecting Thoroughbred horses to the people of Louisville, the Commonwealth of Kentucky and beyond. Starting mid-May, the farm will be open to the public for tours through Visit Horse Country and will be available as a unique venue for educational events and fundraisers for nonprofits across the Louisville community.  

About the Farm

The TRF Sanctuary Farm at Chestnut Hall represents the realization of a dream of local businessman, Bill Carstanjen, CEO of Churchill Downs Incorporated. The new farm has been created as a gift to the horses of the Thoroughbred Retirement Foundation and the citizens of Kentucky. On behalf of his family and community, Carstanjen was moved to purchase the property in Prospect to protect the historic farmhouse and pasture land from residential development. Over the course of the past year, Carstanjen has personally overseen the restoration of the 25+ acre property to its former beauty as an active horse farm. Reflecting his deep personal appreciation for the horses at the heart of the Thoroughbred racing industry, Carstanjen sought out the Thoroughbred Retirement Foundation as his partner to provide a home for retired racehorses and to connect the Louisville community, broadly defined, to the majestic animals upon whom the Thoroughbred racing industry relies.   

“Thoroughbred horses have enriched the lives of countless citizens and visitors to Louisville throughout history, but very few opportunities exist for the community to experience and interact with these extraordinary animals,” said Kim Weir, the Director of Major Gifts and Planned Giving for the Thoroughbred Retirement Foundation. “It is with this goal in mind that Mr. Carstanjen restored the horse farm and historic home at Chestnut Hall with the express intention of giving the gift of the horses to the community of Louisville. Together, it is our hope that the TRF Sanctuary Farm at Chestnut Hall will provide a venue for education, inspiration and imagination for many years to come.”

Tour Booking and Private events

For the safety of the horses and visitors, unscheduled visits are not permitted.

While the TRF Sanctuary Farm at Chestnut Hall is not open to the general public, visitors are welcome through pre-arranged tours via Visit Horse Country as well as by private appointment.

TRF News Release

Photo: Courtesy of TRF

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