“In 1990, a small group of Mid-Atlantic Thoroughbred owners, headed by Herb and Ellen Moelis and the late Allaire duPont, banded together to promote the well being of retired racehorses. A small dinner auction, featuring art and racing memorabilia, was held at the Moelis’ Candyland Farm in Middletown, Delaware. $15,000 was raised and donated to the Thoroughbred Retirement Foundation.
The event grew annually and in 1997, when the funds raised at the Stallion Season Auction neared $1 million, Thoroughbred Charities of America was created to enable many other non-profits caring for ex-racehorses to receive grants as well.
In 2007, the Stallion Season Auction was moved from Middletown, Delaware to Lexington, Kentucky where it is hosted each January.
In 2008, TCA formally affiliated with the Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders Association (TOBA) and is now the charitable arm of the organization. TCA’s affiliation with TOBA has allowed TCA to further expand its national reach and provides the continuity needed to carry on its mission into the future.
As a direct result of the annual Stallion Season Auction, TCA has granted funds to over 200 Thoroughbred industry related non-profit organizations. The Stallion Season Auction is TCA’s largest fundraiser and is made possible by the generosity of stallion owners, sponsors and other donors.”
From the Thoroughbred Charities of America website
“I am so honored to call Ellen a friend. She is a high-powered businesswoman with a keen of sense of knowing exactly what to say to solve problems large or small at any given time. She is always approachable and open to listening to issues before reflecting on unique solutions. I have known Ellen for many years and I have been most fortunate to have had the opportunity to work with her more recently as a member of the Belmont Child Care Association’s Advisory Board.
Ellen is bright, energetic, and driven in her work both professional and philanthropic. She is warm, compassionate, and filled with joy and pride for her family, who complete her life. Ellen is a very caring friend who treasures the people in her life. My daughter and her grandson graduated from the University of Pennsylvania during the same year. Ellen found time during her hectic weekend to deliver a note of congratulations to our hotel room to let us know that she and her family were thinking of us during that special time. I was really touched by her kindness.
Ellen and her amazing husband, Herb, make up the dynamic duo who have contributed so much to the Thoroughbred racing industry through their non-profit organizations that have supported both horses and backstretch workers for numerous years. Their generosity knows no bounds as they have made a huge impact not only in our industry, but also in their philanthropic work outside.
Ellen’s thoughtfulness, direct approach, and her big smile make those of us who know her lucky to say we do!”
Joanne K. Adams – Executive Director, Belmont Child Care Association Inc.
“I met Herb and Ellen Moelis when I was a teenager. I remember them coming to the farm to see a mare who was being bred to one of our stallions. My parents weren’t available and I remember my Dad asking me to have the mare ready for their arrival. When the Moelises arrived, I instantly liked them. Herb was funny and friendly and Ellen oozed class.
A few years after graduating from college, my Dad asked me to go to a charity event the Moelis family was hosting at their Candyland farm in Delaware. This was my first experience with the Thoroughbred Charities of America. Herb and Ellen hustled, worked and threw a great fundraiser! It was something to see, Herb and Ellen hosting and Ellen with the meatballs. It was an experience that shaped my model for active volunteering.
Later on as a board member of TCA, I learned that Ellen was far from just an exquisite hostess. Seated as the Treasurer at the time, Ellen’s reports were so knowledgeable that I felt like she was talking about her personal finances! In 20 years of volunteer board service I’ve never heard a Treasurer give such solid reports. Ellen inspired me to be the best TCA board member I could be.
But Ellen isn’t just a hostess or all business either. Watching her and Herb these days, her love and compassion for Herb is so obvious. By making aftercare a priority for our industry, they achieved so much. Ellen’s pride in her family’s life work is so evident it’s palpable. She’s truly heroic!”
Mike McMahon – President, Thoroughbred Charities of America
“Ellen is so deserving of recognition for all Ellen has done for the horse, racing industry and those that provide care for these fabulous athletes. There is no one that is more of a guardian for the welfare and humane treatment of the greatest athletes in competitive sports – the horse. The horse gives their owners, trainers and spectators all they have in heart and athletic skill and Ellen is the ‘angel’ that makes sure they are well cared for and loved for all they do for the sport. There is no better champion for the horse than Ellen Moelis.”
Dr. Jim Orsini – University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine, New Bolton Center
“Ellen Moelis has exemplified ‘grace’ in all parts of horse racing that she has touched but perhaps most in the area of benevolence. My first memory of her was the beautiful and gracious hostess of the early TCA ‘tent’ fundraisers held in the early 1990s that she and her husband Herb orchestrated to raise awareness and funds for retired racehorses. I had no knowledge of her modeling background but was mesmerized by her powerful punch of beauty and brains!
Over the years since I have observed and interacted with her on many levels within our mid Atlantic racing community and continue to be impressed by her seemingly effortless diplomacy and forward thinking. In the words of Saren Kjerkegaard: ‘It is perfectly true, as philosophers say, that life must be understood backwards. But they forgot the other proposition, that it must be lived forwards.’ Ellen Moelis, with her husband Herb, has created a legacy of aid for OTTBs to ‘live life forwards’ in the sport of racing she has graced for over four decades, that is exemplified by two vibrant and visual foundations: Thoroughbred Charities of America (TCA) and Thoroughbred Education and Research Foundation (TERF). She indeed has been a pioneer in our world, and I am grateful that she has plowed the way for so many of us. Thank you Ellen!”
Dr. Kathy Anderson – Equine Veterinary Care at Fair Hill Training Center