South Carolina Thoroughbred Retirement Foundation (TRF)
Kip was instrumental in creating the South Carolina Thoroughbred Retirement Foundation located at the Wateree River Correctional Institution in Rembert, SC. Inmates began building Seabiscuit Stables in spring 2004 with the facilities officially opening in November 2004. June 2005 saw the first class of seven inmates begin the Second Chances program.
Currently 45 retired horses reside at Seabiscuit Stables on a 110-acre farm set aside at Wateree for the program by the State of South Carolina. Over the duration of each six-month cycle of the Second Chances program, participating inmates - between 24 and 36 per year - help tack, bandage, groom and exercise horses in the Groom Elite Program. The workers develop an understanding of a horse's digestive system, its bone structure, its mouth and its feet, and corresponding terminology. They also learn characteristics of specific breeds. Inmates completing the program receive a nationally recognized certification from Groom Elite, which will help them in securing employment upon parole.
Although no longer a board member, Kip and Kirkwood Stables continues to support the Second Chances Program and SCTRF by promoting the program far and wide and holding fundraising events such as the “Shoot for Second Chances” Sporting Clays Charity Tournament held the day before the Colonial Cup. More information can be found on the South Carolina Thoroughbred Retirement Foundation website.