The Exceller Fund acquires Thoroughbred horses that might otherwise be at risk for neglect or slaughter and works to provide a future beyond the finish line once they have completed their racing careers.
The Exceller Fund was formed in September 1997 by a small group of racing fans who sought to start something that would achieve at least two goals: Keep the name of Exceller alive, a horse often overlooked and forgotten among the decade of superstar champions, and try to save other Thoroughbreds from meeting his same fate. This was three months after the news of Exceller’s untimely death was made known in an article in the Daily Racing Form by Mike Mullaney. Ironically, Exceller’s name was listed on the ballot for election into Thoroughbred racing’s Hall of Fame in the same month that he was slaughtered.
The Exceller Fund is a nationwide organization dedicated to providing quality care by utilizing private farms to care for its horses. Horses are sent to farms best suited to their individualized needs, whether they require rehabilitation, preparation for adoption, or permanent retirement.
The mission of “Providing a Future Beyond the Finish Line” goes well beyond the initial rescue of a horse. Once a horse is secured, lifetime sanctuary is provided. Permanent retirees will remain in the care of the organization and adopted horses will remain indefinitely under the safety net of The Exceller Fund, meaning they can return at any time.
While the average Thoroughbred racehorse will have approximately twelve lifetime starts, a Racing Warrior has raced year after year with a minimum of fifty starts, many with over a hundred. As the unsung heroes of the racing industry, these horses have become a primary focus of The Exceller Fund as they are often forgotten once they leave the track. Some will find new homes, but others will have limited opportunities due to age and athletic “wear and tear”.
Some of these horses with less adoption potential will have the opportunity to participate with The Exceller Fund’s in-house Operation Therapeutic Warrior program. This provides suitable horses a chance for an alternative career in a therapeutic setting with troubled teens or veterans.
Today, The Exceller Fund continues to rely on public contributions and is made up of a diverse group of supporters, bound together by their love of Thoroughbred horses.