MiniSnark: Cdn STB foals being euth’d?!

Sorry, this was JUST sent to me and I’m at work.  Will be looking into it!!!!!  If you see/hear anything on this, please let me know ASAP.

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Posted on April 27, 2012, in Horse News, Mini Snarks. Bookmark the permalink. 21 Comments.

  1. Hmm… seems to me it takes all types.
    Of course there are irresponsible breeders that overbred, and should be chastised.
    But it seems to me the main issue is that people bred the mares, had buyers essentially lined up, and then the buyers unexpectedly backed out due to legislation?
    Can’t really get too mad at the breeders for that – better to euth a foal then auction it off the day you can rip it from it’s mother.

    Only “cruelty” I would argue is the fault of the industry – too big to fail without massive consequences? Maybe the industry shouldn’t be allowed to grow to the point where breeders are producing more foals than they, themselves, could be fiscally responsible for.

  2. At least they’re being euthanized and not dumped somewhere. Sad they’re not getting a chance but at least they won’t suffer like so many unwanted horses do.

  3. The ignorance of some of those comments on the CHDC blog is astounding. I guarentee the people euthing foals are not breeding their mares back. About a month ago the Ontario government made a more that will completely destroy horse racing in the province and the whole industry will be extinct in the province within 2 years at the most. You can’t “un breed” a mare that’s two to three months away from foaling. Would you rather see these babies starve and/or go to slaughter? No one could have predicted what the Ontario government did, but taking all that revenue away from racing means that starvation and slaughter are exactly what these foals are destined for if something isn’t done. People aren’t doing it just for their own sake, it’s for the sake of the horses themselves as well. Is it very sad? Yes. The blame for this is 100% on the shoulders of the Ontario government. Sadly, the people euthing their foals ARE the responsible ones.

  4. I’m sorry, but why should the Ontarion Government or any provincial government in this country have to pay for racing??

    This is a private industry responsible or itself. Our monies are for our health care, public schools, road infrastructure etc. It is not for horse racing, hockey, etc.

    So please, when placing the blame here – leave my tax dollars out of it. I for one do not appreciate my money going for proffessional private sports being run by people who have too much $$$ and not enough sense.

    It’s unfortunate that these foals are caught in the middle of this. But it comes down to being responsible – and the horse industry NEEDS to wake up. There are too many horses for any breeding in large scale to be considered responsible.

    ~end rant~

    • Umm, the Ontario government didn’t cut any funding. What they did was remove the casinos from racetracks so the race tracks no longer recieve slot revenue. It had nothing to do with tax dollars and government funding.

  5. It’s tragic that cutting funding means the death of all these foals, and will probably result in a LOT of horses going to slaughter and being auctioned off and ending up god knows where, but I definitely agree with Charlotte in that our tax dollars should not have been funding racing in the first place, especially when there are so many other, more important things that money should be going towards. e.g., once my dad’s insurance no longer covers me because I’ll be graduating in 8 months, I’ll have to pay for my asthma inhalers out of my own pocket. Y’know, those things that are required so that I can BREATHE? Something which is kind of important in my NOT DYING. I mean, not to completely bash the health care system, a lot of stuff IS covered, including the handful of hospital visits I’ve had in the last couple of years due to vaguely-horse-related injuries sustained while doing things you never thought could be dangerous (putting away a saddle, opening a gate… My coach jokes about how the only time I hurt myself is when I’m doing something completely safe XD In 9 years of riding, the only riding-related injury I’ve had – scrapes and bruises aside – is a severely bruised tail bone *knock on wood*), but seriously. Priorities.

    • The Ontario racing industry actually generates more money for the government than it costs them, so this move will hurt health care if anything. It’s not government funding that was cut, the government removed the casinos from race tracks so the tracks no longer gets the revenue from said casino.

      • Ahhh, I see. From the article, it sounded like the race tracks were being government funded. That doesn’t make any sense at all though, to separate the casinos from the tracks. I mean, the two seem to be practically the same entity most of the time. Why would it matter that the track is making money from the casino?

  6. Alot of states and provinces either still do offer incentives for show and race horses. Kentucky has one that the mare is bred and then when she foals in KY, the foal is eligible for money as it is shown Or raced.. Not sure if they are still doing that.. but they did… We knew 2 years ago or more that the horse industry was tanking.. The US was still (IS still) in a recession.. now the EU and many other countries are following suit. I think these people were narrow minded and didn’t pay attention.. and now many foals will die because of it.

  7. NCmustangowner

    This totally sucks for the foals, but I’m glad to see most people in agreement here. The breeders sound like, in their own way, they are being as responsible as possible. 3,000 spare foals would be a virtual plague of unhomed horses. At least the breeders are doing the thing we always hope that other organizations will do- euthanizing the foals before they must go to slaughter or become someone’s starved and beaten cast-offs. I stand with the people who agree that euthanasia is often the best outcome for the animal in this situation. Hopefully, though, the industry will learn from this and plan around it better so that in the future, we can change legislation before the mares are bred.

  8. Tragic, but not surprising, and definitely not the worst outcome. As sad as it is to be losing healthy foals, as long as the mares are not being bred back this year, then this is actually one of the most responsible options these breeders could choose if their market suddenly shrunk.

    • Absolutely agreed – so long as they are not being bred again this year, at least the breeder’s are taking the responsibility and PAYING to euth the foals instead of expecting someone to pay them to clean up the mess.

  9. Many times I’ve heard animal rights groups argue that all horse racing should be abolished. Sadly, this is what will happen during the transition.

    I do believe that if a government is collecting taxes from having race tracks within its juristiction, it should contribute to the welfare of the horses.

    • The AR groups are quite okay with this outcome though. Their argument is that death is the only way to ensure the animal won’t suffer.
      Just like how we shouldn’t “own” dogs, even though they’re our finest example of domestication. Studies have shown that dogs have more in common with human babies than with wolves, and that dogs understand “human” language better than chimpanzees. Clearly, the type of animal that should run wild!

  10. I think they’re being pretty responsible. What else are you supposed to do with a foal you won’t be able to afford to raise? Standardbreds are not highly sought after riding horses and 3,000 are not likely to find homes. Sure, there are plenty of people who own and ride retired STBs, but very few compared to the other major breeds.

  11. VLT’s were pulled here in Manitoba as well from Assiniboa Downs and about time too – people weren’t going to watch the races – they were going to drop their welfare cheques ands grocery money into the slots.
    And just so we are clear – VLT’s and casino’s are run by our provincial government and our tax dollars are mixed right into it.
    Again – I shouldn’t be paying or people to race their horses. I shouldn’t be paying for VLT’s either. Creating a gambling problem to raise revenue is as asinine as breeding too many horses under subsidy in a crashed market.

  12. Am I the only person wondering why this ONE province can’t expand it’s reaches for sales and racing into other provinces or countries with this batch of foals? It’s Ontario, not the entire country of Canada. Can these horses not be raced elsewhere? in the US? In Mexico? Sold overseas? They were bred to be harness racers and last time I checked Ontario had not completely cornered the market on Harness Racing.

  13. I will tell you who this is hardest on, the people who are actually doing the euthanizing of the foals and listening to the Mares call for their dead babies after the dirty deed is done. In my experience of such matters it is not the mare owners, barn owners, or any other Owner who is carrying out the dirty work. They just pass the order down the line until it is carried out by the Barn & Vet staff. Those are the people who have my sympathies.

  14. I think this is a last ditch effort by owners/trainers/breeders to shock the government/public into donating $$$ to support their business/horses/etc… I don’t believe these foals are being euthanized.

    As we all know, the racing industry, no matter what breed, has been in the crapper for years. These owners/trainers/breeders have seen this coming for a very long time. Now they’re going to try to take advantage of the SHOCK value.

    Is Ontario the only place where there is harness racing? Hmmm, I think not.

  15. The entire thing is slightly odd… I worked at a standardbred breeding farm in PA. Every spring we had around 40 foals drop, and every fall every single foal was taken to auction and sold to buyers from Canada and Florida and everywhere in between. That’s what breeders do. They SELL their foals; they don’t (generally) raise them up and race them themselves. So why not do that with these foals…? Unless we’re talking about middle of the road claimers here who no one would want, in which case I do have to lay some blame at the breeder’s door for breeding foals who would be generally unwanted in the first place.

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