Monday, May 4, 2009

Program would send TB horses to prison

April 29, 2009

A Southern Illinois horse lover wants to use retired racehorses to train prison inmates to become Thoroughbred groomers.

Lanny Brooks, head of the Illinois Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association, says establishing a grooming instruction program at the Vandalia Correctional Center would benefit prisoners and give retired race horses a new lease on life, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported Wednesday.

Brooks says his organization would foot the bills for the program so it won't cost Illinois a dime.

"The grooming of Thoroughbred horses is a skill that can be taught to inmates and can lead them to a productive life after prison," says a resolution introduced into the Illinois House by state Rep. Ron Stephens of Highland.

Brooks says eight other states have similar programs and all have proved successful.

Once his program is in place, Brooks says any trainer caught sending horses for slaughter would lose his stalls at the racetrack.

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