Some residents came to the sanctuary due to owners' financial, family, or health difficulties, some were abandoned at boarding stables, some "conveyed" with the property when farms were sold, and some were plainly neglected by owners who didn't care.
The conclusion seems to be that there is no "average" TREES resident. By the same token, no resident in more "special" than the others, regardless of pedigree or accomplishment. Retirement is the great equalizer in the world of equine elders. A Kentucky Derby winner is no more deserving of comfortable Golden Years than a camp horse who toted dozens (hundreds?) of squirming children up and down Blue Ridge trails.
Whatever their backgrounds, all of our residents are "golden" oldies. If you are in Virginia, whether you live here or are passing through, stop by and meet these wonderful old veterans. Forget the stereotype of "old nags." Our residents may surprise you.