Header Graphic
Oak Meadows Ranch
Ferdinand and Exceller - Oak Meadows Ranch, Wildomar, California


In Memory of Ferdinand and Exceller

Ferdinand and Exceller "A good man will take care of his horses..., not only when they are young, but also when they are old and past service." -Plutarch (circa 45-125 A.D.) This page is dedicated to famous and successful horses who made large amounts of money for their owners and were repaid, not with a well earned comfortable retirement in their old age, but with a horrifiing trip to the slaughterhouse. The betrayal of these horses is shocking.

Ferdinand was the 1986 Kentucky Derby winner and twice voted Horse of the Year. He had lifetime race earnings of $3,777,978.00, making him at the time, the fifth leading money earner of all time. His stud fee at his retirement from racing was set at $30,000.00. Unfortunately, Ferdinand did not excell in the breeding shed and he eventually was sold to a farm in Japan. Finally, and sadly, at the age of 19, Ferdinand was slaughtered in a Japanese slaughterhouse.


Exceller raced in The United States and in Europe and had lifetime race earnings of $1,654,003.00. He was, and still is, the only horse to have defeated two Triple Crown winners, Affirmed and Seattle Slew. Upon retiring from racing his stud fee was set at $50,000.00. Unfortunately, Exceller did not excell as a stud, and his stud fee soon plummeted to $2,500.00. Sadly, Exceller was killed in a Swedish slaughterhouse in 1997. Ironically, in 1999, just two years after his tragic death, Exceller was elected to the Racing Hall of Fame.

Other former Kentucky Derby winners who have been sold overseas and are struggling at stud: Alysheba is in Saudi Arabia. Lifetime earnings: $6,679,242.00 Strike The Gold is in Turkey. Lifetime earnings: $3,300,000.00 Sea Hero is in Turkey. Lifetime earnings: $2,900,000.00 Charismatic is in Japan. Lifetime earnings: $2,000,000.00 War Emblem is in Japan. Lifetime earnings: $3,491,000.00. Will these horses be next?

"For the animal shall not be measured by man. In a world older and more complete than ours they move finished and complete, gifted with extensions of the senses we have lost or never attained, living by voices we shall never hear. They are not brethren, they are not underlings, they are other nations, caught with ourselves in the net of life and time, fellow prisoners of the splendor and travail of the earth." - Henry Beston



Dedicated To Helping Horse Rescue Throughout The United States of America
Blue Pearl Project
Email: BluePearlProject@gmail.com