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Our Board of Directors

Kimberly Godwin Clark, President/Executive Director

Kimberly is a graduate of Villa Julie College and has been involved in Thoroughbred racing for over 25 years. She has been licensed as a trainer, owner and exercise rider. Kim lives with her husband, William Clark on Leighton Farm in Upper Marlboro, Maryland where many Thoroughbreds are retrained and then transitioned to meaningful lives outside of racing. Clark has been helping fellow trainers and owners place retiring/retired racehorses for the many years, but began to develop a program to do it in November 2007. This placement program created by horsemen for horsemen has been extremely successful.

Kimberly Godwin Clark has always had a passion for Thoroughbreds. She earned her USDF Bronze Medal on a Thoroughbred she trained from green broke to Third Level.  Clark currently competes Thoroughbreds at the National Level in both Dressage and Show Jumping.  Her work with retired racers has produced successful horses like 4* Eventer Houdini (registered name, Rocky Times) and Breeder’s Bridge to High Performance Winner Constant Star among many other prospects that have gone on to successful careers in Eventing, Dressage, Hunters, Jumpers and Pleasure horses.  Kimberly has also written and published the book “New Track, New Life” which describes in detail the life of the horse at the track and then how to successfully transition them to new disciplines. 

For 25 years Clark galloped, trained and owned Thoroughbred racehorses at Maryland Tracks. She learned to exercise racehorses under the tutelage of the great steeplechase rider John Bosley and then went on to the track with Ann Merryman a second generation horseman. She began riding at Old Hilltop, Pimlico Racecourse in Baltimore, Maryland, and later rode in Florida for several winters before settling at Leighton Farm to begin her new venture in retraining retiring racehorses for new careers in 2007.

To achieve success in this new venture, she enlisted the guidance of  Jim Wofford in 2008.  She then added David Loman at Jim’s suggestion in 2010.  Clark continues to work regularly with Linda Zang, Stephen Bradley, and Joe Fargis.  Her training program is based on knowledge she has gained from a lifetime of working with Thoroughbreds racehorses and now the incredible guidance she receives from each horse that comes through the Leighton Farm program.  “I focus on the fundamentals of relaxation, balance, straightness and rhythm creating a solid foundation for any discipline.”


Kimberly and Leighton Farm have a special commitment to Thoroughbreds, exhibiting a benevolent passion for them by creating the charity organization, Thoroughbred Placement Resources, Inc.

  You can reach Kimberly directly at 410-802-8425.

Dr. Kathleen Coyle, Secretary

Dr. Coyle has been a Thoroughbred racing fan as well as rider and trainer for a life time. She began her love affair with Thoroughbred racing as a child and has carried it with her into adulthood. If a television is on in her home, it’s most likely turned to racing! Dr. Coyle has two retired racers. One rescued from a kill pen and the other an earner of $250,000. She competes dressage, three day eventing and show jumping.

Patricia Hechter, Director

Trish Hechter maintains a barn in Royal Oak, on Maryland’s Eastern Shore,where she is owned by and cares for 5 horses; three of whom are OTTB’s.  “I love Thoroughbred horses. I grew up with them in every aspect of my life. All horses are wonderful, though for me Thoroughbreds are the ones that make my equestrienne world complete.”  In 2013, Trish was one of 26 “trainers” chosen to participate in the Retired Racehorse Training Project Makeover and Symposium. She grew up foxhunting and starting yearlings and two year olds on her mother’s farm in Fallston, Maryland, near the Elkridge Harford Hunt Club. Her mother, Sylvia Hechter, was a well-known and respected horsewoman specializing in “problem” horses with special needs, until her death in 1986. A special mare was purchased by Sylvia; her racing name was Stillaspill. Trish and her mother taught her to be a show jumper beginning her journey to become the famous horse Touch of Class, one of the 1984 Olympic double gold medal winners. The facilities and training developed at her mother’s farm attracted prominent trainers and riders Kathy Kusner, George Morris, Rodney Jenkins and Joe Fargis, to name a few, all of whom were major influences on Trish as she grew up.  At fifteen she earned her Pony Club “B” rating under the tutelage of Louise Bedford, who brought Pony Club to America from England.  She spent over two years working for Mickey Smithwick in his racehorse stable of flat and timber horses, and showed on the “A” circuit.  The fundamentals of horse health were learned from exposure to many of the best veterinarians, farriers and dentists in the country.

Lucy Kessler, Director

 A Realtor since 1971 which aided the ability to be a Breeder of Thoroughbred horses since the early 80’s at my farm Liberty Hill. Breeding eventually led to racing which is how I met Kim. Kim rode in the morning for my husband who trained our horses. When I lost my husband, Kim became the trainer. We did well looking after our charges. I have 8 relatives of horses who raced with Kim as trainer that still live on my farm.

Anne Harrington, Director

Anne Harrington retired from her appointment as Deputy Administrator for Defense Nuclear Nonproliferation for the National Nuclear Security Administration in January 2017, a position she had held since October 2010. Previously, She was the Director of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences Committee on International Security and Arms Control (CISAC) a position she held from March 2005 to October 2010. While at CISAC, she managed several key studies on a variety of nonproliferation, threat reduction and other nuclear security issues.  Anne served for over 15 years in the U.S. Department of State, where she was Acting Director and Deputy Director of the Office of Proliferation Threat Reduction and a senior U.S. government expert on nonproliferation and cooperative threat reduction.  Horses have long played a central role in her life. She was a member of the St. Lawrence University Intercollegiate Horse Show Association hunt seat competition team, and has owned and ridden horses her entire life, including during her overseas residences in Belgium, Hungary, and Russia. Over the years, she has competed in hunter, jumper, eventing, and dressage competitions, focusing the past 15 years on dressage. Her last three horses were off-the-track thoroughbred. Her current mount, Jack My Man, is a 6-year old who will debut at First Level this spring; her last horse, That Darn Houdini, competed successfully at recognized shows through Third Level until his retirement at age 24.  Ms. Harrington graduated with a bachelor’s of arts degree from St. Lawrence University, an M.A. from the University of Michigan, and an M.S. from the National Defense University National War College.

Natanya Levioff, Director of the Hero Horses Program

Ms. Levioff’s career launched at the U.S. Department of Education where she served in the roles of Congressional Liaison and then Program Analyst for the William D. Ford National Direct Student Loan Program. This lead to her to EDS where she was the Business Relations Manager overseeing resolution of borrower issues for the newly installed federal contractor. After a detour to the aerospace industry where she was the Director of Public Relations and Business Analyst for a.i. solutions, Inc., overseeing the rebranding effort of the company as well as managing several education website creation projects for NASA Goddard Space Flight Center aimed towards interesting middle school students in science and engineering, Ms. Levioff entered the nonprofit world.  Her time as the Director of Logistics and Special Projects at Presidential Classroom, the Vice President of Operations at StandardsWork, Inc., the DC Local Director for GreatSchools, and most recently as the Director of Product Services for Great Minds all combine to showcase her talents for creating something from nothing, growing and scaling operations, flexing nuanced approaches to project management, and leading teams of dedicated people to the mission at hand.  Ms. Levioff currently resides in Annapolis, MD where she is deeply involved with the United States Naval Academy as a Midshipmen sponsor and the public address announcer for the varsity wrestling team. She was recently nominated to the National Wrestling Hall of Fame-Maryland Chapter for Lifetime Service to the sport. Her degree in political science is from Syracuse University.

Irene Dearborn, Treasurer



Advisory Board


Tad Coffin

Tad earned his status as Gold Medal Olympian at the age of 21 on a Thoroughbred mare. He has gone on to become a developer of ground breaking saddle technology with his company Tad Coffin Performance Saddles. His efforts to improve the form and function of the saddle have been responsible for saving the lives and the welfare of countless horses that suffer from the effects of outdated saddles. Tad is a constant source of information on how to help our horses to perform better. He has been instrumental in helping us with our mission to address horses with training issues – many caused by the lack of improvement in conventional saddle technology.

Milton P. Higgins, III

Milton Higgins has maintained an active breeding and racing partnership with Tom Bowman, DVM, and his family since 1981. The Bowman/Higgins partnership bred the dam and grand dam of 2014 Horse of the Year California Chrome, Grade 3 winner and Kentucky Derby starter Point Determined, and the highest priced horse sold at the 2016 Fasig-Tipton Midlantic Fall Yearling Sale. As sole owner or in partnership, Milton has raced Grade 2 winner Who Wouldn’t, Grade 3 winners Merengue and G.O’Keefe, and multiple stakes winner and Maryland-bred champion Richetta. Milton was treasurer of the Maryland Horse Breeders Association from 2008-2013 and has also served on the board of the Maryland Thoroughbred Horsemen’s Association. He has an MBA from Harvard. He supports responsible racehorse retirement because “when we breed racehorses, they trust us to look after and care for them. In return, they always give us their best efforts to perform to the highest level of their abilities. Being no longer able to perform in a useful manner on the track is not an excuse for us to break that trust and abdicate our part of the compact.”

Edgar Prado

Edgar Prado was inducted into the Racing Hall of Fame in 2008. He won the Kentucky Derby on Barbaro and the Eclipse Award as North America’s leading jockey in 2006. He also won the Mike Venezia Award that year. The Venezia Award honors jockeys who exemplify extraordinary sportsmanship and citizenship. In 2003, Prado was selected by his fellow riders to receive the George Woolf Memorial Award, which honors a jockey whose career and personal character earn esteem for the individual and Thoroughbred racing. He has won nearly 7,000 races, including the Belmont Stakes (twice) and five Breeders’ Cup races. His first Grade I win came in 1991 on Leariva in the Budweiser International at Laurel Park in Maryland. He was the leading rider in Maryland from 1991 to 1993 and from 1996 to 1997, and led the nation in victories from 1997 to 1999. With John Feinstein, he is the author of My Guy Barbaro, A Jockey’s Journey Through Love, Triumph and Heartbreak.

Al Gold

Since opening his racing stable in 2004, Al Gold has owned Grade 2 winner Chace City, Grade 3 winner Little Miss Holly, and multiple stakes winner Rule by Night.  He is most proud of breeding and raising stakes winner Black Mission Fig.  Outside of racing, he has operated a real estate management business for 40 years.  Al supports TPR and responsible racehorse retirement because “there is simply no question it’s the right thing to do.”