The Thoroughbred Retirement Foundation’s (TRF) has launched its seventh annual Hay Drive campaign. The goal of the campaign is to raise the funds necessary for TRF’s yearly hay budget for the 900 horses in its programs. The foundation expects its hay costs in 2015 to exceed $220,000.

With this year’s hay drive, the TRF hopes to highlight economic impact the foundation and its network of caregivers has on agribusiness across the country. Over a quarter of the TRF herd is stabled at correctional facilities located in 14 states, and the remaining horses reside on large farms across the country. Wherever they are living, TRF horses give open land a purpose and employ farm managers, hay farmers, farriers, and veterinarians. Additionally, at prison farms in the TRF’s Second Chances program, the horses educate men and women who can, in turn, contribute to the economic vitality of the communities to which they return.

The TRF also has adoption, fostering and sponsorship programs available for horses stabled at various farms throughout the country.

“On average, a Thoroughbred will eat about 22 pound of hay daily,” said TRF herd manager Sara Davenport. “It is one of our greatest annual expenses, so we are grateful for donations of any size during the hay drive.”

Diana Pikulski, TRF’s vice president of external affairs, added, “We are starting off with a nice boost, thanks to a large hay donation late last year from Gallagher Stud in New York and a $50,000 pledge from the Geoffrey Hughes Estate.”

To learn more about the hay drive or to contribute a “virtual” bale of