Our Story

In 1990, Herb and Ellen Moelis with their good friend the late Allaire DuPont, recognized that horses who did not go on to be premier stallions or broodmares needed aftercare when their racing career ended. This gave rise to the concept of horses helping horses by raising funds through a Stallion Season auction. Simply, we would secure breeding rights for successful stallions and apply the proceeds to help the less fortunate Thoroughbreds.

The first Stallion Season auction was held at the home of the Moelis’ at Candyland Farm in Middletown, Delaware. The food was homemade and the auction was attended by 20 horse lovers and raised $15,000. This was the birth of the premier Thoroughbred charity, Thoroughbred Charities of America (“TCA”). After more than 20 years, TCA has distributed close to $20 million to over 200 horse-related charities.

In February, 2007, certain TCA Directors, Herb and Ellen Moelis, Jim Orsini DVM, Gretchen Jackson, Betty Moran, and Kathleen Crompton joined with Toni Orsini and Roy Jackson to establish an endowment to support the charitable needs of worthy education and research organizations in the Mid-Atlantic region. Later, TCA Directors Amy Adkins and Dan Rosenberg joined the Board of Trustees of the endowment.

The trustees of the endowment expanded the concept of the TCA Endowment to provide focused funding for equine education and research. In 2012 the name of the endowment was changed to Thoroughbred Education and Research Foundation (“TERF”) to better describe the mission and vision.

Our trustees’ passion toward providing scholarships grew out of an emergent concern and reality with the rising debt of the next generation of caretakers for horses.  If we do not provide educational opportunities for our next generation of equine stewards, who would not ordinarily have the option to further their equine studies, we will be leaving great talent on the table.  We care deeply about leveling the playing field for all students who wish to pursue a career in bettering equine health and furthering their education.

Scholarships for veterinary students have been granted to schools and colleges of veterinary medicine for students committed to pursue a professional career in equine medicine and surgery at the University of Pennsylvania and Cornell University. Other vet schools in the Mid-Atlantic are invited to apply for similar scholarships. Grants have also been provided for equine education organizations, including Equine Advocates, Days End Horse Rescue, Retired Racehorse Training Project (RRTP), and The Laminitis Conference.

Celebration of Life

The Chester County Community Foundation pays tribute to the incredible life and legacy of Herb Moelis, the founder of the Thoroughbred Education and Research Foundation. Herb was known for his compassionate and commonsense leadership, in both equine and human communities. He and his wife Ellen followed their dreams to support Thoroughbred health and welfare by funding scholarships, educational programs, and equine research. Herb will be deeply missed. Click here to read his obituary.