May 12, 1973 - April 7, 1997

Exceller Fund News

Thursday, March 27, 2014
Melissa Bauer-Herzog features The Exceller Fund in her Aftercare Blog.
Saturday, February 15, 2014
We are thrilled to congratulate Great Cross and 2013 membership drive drawing winner, Holly W., on their victory in the 8th race at Gulfstream park on February 12th!
Friday, December 20, 2013
Secret Santa, put on by Special Horses, has been a huge success this year with your generous support and the help of HorseLoverZ.com!
Monday, October 07, 2013
September 28th was an extremely emotional day for TEF. We celebrated Toast to Exceller and we said goodbye to our son of Secretariat, Verifiable.

Our Mission...

"Providing a Future Beyond the Finish Line"

What We Do

The Exceller Fund acquires Thoroughbred horses that might be at risk for slaughter and works to provide a future beyond the finish line once they have completed their racing careers.   In addition to transitioning potential adoptable horses into second careers, sanctuary is provided for those horses in need of retirement.    The Exceller Fund also works to facilitate the placement of Thoroughbreds with other equine organizations nationwide in order to save as many Thoroughbreds as possible. 

Thoroughbreds are welcomed into the program regardless of their adoption potential, which may take several months to determine as the horses go through the “let down"/evaluation process.  Many of these horses remain with The Exceller Fund for their lifetime.  Racing Warriors, horses that have spent years on the track, have become a major focus for The Exceller Fund because they often have limited adoption opportunities due to age and athletic “wear and tear”. 


Why We Do It

Without the combined efforts of The Exceller Fund, other equine organizations, and donors, many more Thoroughbreds would meet the same fate as Exceller and be sent to slaughter.  Thoroughbreds are wonderful and amazing horses.  Bred over the centuries for speed and endurance, they are highly intelligent and sensitive horses who bond quickly to humans.  These characteristics are what make them great racehorses, but this bond is betrayed on the slaughterhouse floor.

The Exceller Fund's mission of "Providing a Future Beyond the Finish Line" goes well beyond the immediate rescue of a horse.  For us, saving a life is a LIFETIME commitment.  With good care, horses can live into their late twenties, or longer.  The Exceller Fund continues to care for these extraordinary horses long after the initial emotional response has diminished.


How We Do It

The Exceller Fund is a charity, dependent upon donations from racing fans, people from the racing industry, and people who just love horses.  The organization is built around a small membership that makes a commitment to care for these horses.  Members are located all over the country and stay in touch through e-mail and electronic newsletters. The minimum monthly membership pledge is $15.00 per month; but any donation of any size at any time is always welcome and appreciated.

The Exceller Fund also applies for grants and participates in fundraising activities.  Horses in the program are located at privately owned farms and The Exceller Fund pays for their care.  These farms are selected based on the expertise they provide, whether it is caring for an injured horse in need of rehabilitation, a horse ready for retraining, or a geriatric horse requiring special care.  The Exceller Fund is operated by a network of volunteers and has no paid employees.



With your help, we can continue

“Providing a Future Beyond the Finish Line”.


Board of Directors

  • Gary Contessa
  • Cory M. Williams, DVM
  • Bonnie Mizrahi
  • Angela Thewes 
  • Nicole Smith


  • Gary Contessa, President
  • Nicole Smith, Executive Director/Treasurer
  • Angela Thewes, Secretary

Honorary Board

  • Steve Haskin, Senior Contributor, The Bloodhorse
  • Barbara Livingston, Photographer, Eclipse Award Winner
  • Hallie McEvoy, noted Author of Genuine Risk, Showing for Beginners, and Horse Show Judging for Beginners
  • Lorna Coyle, DVM – Otter Creek Equine Associates, Virginia

Donate to Excellerfund.org with PayPal

The Exceller Fund | P.O. Box 4237, Lexington, KY 40544 | Last updated:  April 2014

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