TANEYTOWN, Md. (WJZ) — This weekend, there’s an open invite for Marylanders to check out horses, try apple cider, play games and take part in a scavenger hunt.

It’s all happening at the Renaissance Farm in Carroll County, the state’s first and only sanctuary farm for retired racing horses.

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These retired racing horses start a new chapter of their lives at Renaissance Farm in Taneytown.

Stacie Nichols is the founder is of the Renaissance Equestrian Foundation, Maryland’s first retirement sanctuary farm that she started in 2012.

“We have off the track thoroughbreds that are permanently injured and we use them as teachers to the public,” she said.

She cares for 12 horses whose lives might otherwise have ended abruptly after they couldn’t compete anymore.

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“If they didn’t come here they could go to a kill pen,” Nichols said.

The horses can be therapeutic to visitors.

“When people come out, nobody is being judged,” Nichols said. “There’s nothing about that going on. You’re just there enjoying the moment, and as recently over the last year, there’s not been a lot of enjoyable moments.”

She is hoping to host programs here for kids, students and seniors in the future. But you can meet the horses as soon as this weekend during an open barn and craft sale fundraiser, with all proceedings benefiting the farm.

“We’re gonna have a treasure hunt for kids, we’re also gonna have arts and crafts, we’re gonna have pumpkins and then they get to actually meet the horses,” Nichols said.

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The open barn and craft sale runs from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday at 4206 Brown Road in Taneytown. For more information, please click here.

Stetson Miller