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Open Barn
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VADOC/James River Horse Foundation’s Open Barn Event Attracts Dozens

April 24, 2024

The Virginia Department of Corrections (VADOC) and James River Horse Foundation welcomed dozens of horse enthusiasts to another successful Open Barn event Saturday, April 20 at the State Farm Work Center in Goochland County.

The Open Barn event gave visitors an opportunity to interact with the more than 20 retired, thoroughbred racehorses on site at the work center. Female inmates from State Farm Work Center care for these retired horses, gaining valuable job skills and tools for the re-entry process.

State Farm Work Center’s horse program is a public/private partnership between the VADOC and the James River Horse Foundation. The James River Horse Foundation is an Accredited Organization with the Thoroughbred Aftercare Alliance. The foundation provides all costs of horse care and VADOC provides the inmate work/training crew.

“Programs like this are a true win-win-win for all involved,” said Scott Richeson, VADOC Deputy Director of Programs, Education, and Re-Entry and VADOC Liaison for the James River Horse Foundation. “It is great for the inmate because of the re-entry skills they gain and the lasting bond they form with the horses that teach responsibility and discipline. The horses also benefit from the care they receive from the inmate workers. Finally, the community benefits because many of these horses can be sponsored or adopted.”

The VADOC provides re-entry resources to incarcerated inmates and individuals under community supervision to assist in their transition back into the community. A successful transition back into the community enhances long-term public safety for those who live and work in Virginia. More information can be found on the Re-entry Resources section of the VADOC website.  Information about the James River Horse Foundation can be found on their website

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