The Thoroughbred Retirement Foundation (TRF) and the Montpelier Foundation, a nonprofit founded with the goal of transforming and stewarding James Madison's 2,650-acre estate, have split ways–and not amicably. The Montpelier Foundation housed TRF horses on its Virginia acreage since 2003. The formal statement of the termination of the lease agreement was announced by Dennis Kernahan, chairman of the Montpelier Foundation.
This decision comes after an April meeting of the two entities in which the Montpelier Foundation was informed that funds donated to the program would be managed out of New York instead of locally, as they had been managed in the past. The TRF made clear that it felt that the Monteplier Foundation was not fiscally inline with other TRF operations nationwide.
David Altman, local TRF board President, resigned from the board in support of Monteplier, saying that cutting expenses would affect the horses. He also noted that raising local funds would become more difficult if donors could not ensure that their donations went directly to the horses housed at Montpelier.
The TRF said that it is seeking to streamline operations and avoid duplication of efforts. The organization insists that there are no budget cuts in terms of horse care. The TRF is now looking for homes for the 48 horses in its care that are grazing on Montpelier's fields. If a suitable facility is not found before the November 6 termination of the lease agreement, the horses will be dispersed among TRF's 17 other sanctuaries, which house 650 retire racehorses across the country.
Read more at The Daily Progress.
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