Racing Industry Silent About Slaughtered Thoroughbreds

Vickery Eckhoff

Vickery Eckhoff, Contributor

11/29/2011 @ 12:52PM

This post is the first in a series on Thoroughbreds, racing and the state of the horse industry.

 How did a five-year-old racehorse named Princess Madeline end up in a feedlot on July 13, priced for slaughter?

Ask a horse trainer, and they’ll probably shrug. More than 10,000 U.S. Thoroughbreds a year ship to slaughterhouses in Canada and Mexico, slightly more than the 7,567 yearlings sold at auction in 2010 to American, Japanese and Middle Eastern billionaires, among others.

Please read this story here:


  1. you guys are kidding right everyone knows TBs that dont make the cut go to the plant in fact I have bought many TBS for a kill buyer and his words he said to me that the guy told him is if they dont win they are shipped because they are not even worth the green grass I have rehomed lots of TBS this is nothing new!!

    1. shoshone · ·

      There are two herds of thoroughbred horses for free at the moment, one on kijiji Vancouver and the other on Craig’s List, Kelowna. Could be divorce or forclosure or. Sad isn’t it??

  2. paula peterson · ·

    Vicky Thank you for shining the spotlight on horse racing industry. Most thoroughbreds now are not just purchased by parther ships etc not just the rich of the rich. We owned thoroughbreds and had provisions made for their retirements even if they got claimed. We were a partnership that loved our horses very much talented or not.
    One area I have written about before and still think should be pursued is that there has to be full disclosure that your animal could end up in slaughterhouse at the end of its days. I owned and participated an loved our 2 horses like children. We were responsible owners……and I guess thought all owners, trainers and breeders felt that way. I stronglllllly feel that full disclosure must be supplied to owners, trainers etc when they receive their licences to own including slaughterhouses. I was completely unaware slaughterhouses existed here in Canada and almost had a heart attack when I learned of it a year ago.
    You are right………its a dirty little secret which alot of owners here in Canada at least have no clue they exist.
    I am not sure we would have entered the world of horse racing had we known that from an ethical standpoint nor would I wager non of our 8 members were aware of it either.
    I was involved in racing for 5 or 6 years and yet never ever had a clue slaughterhouses exist in relation to horses.
    I think this expose is needed!!! We got lucky as we worked with a trainer who absolutely believed the horses welfare came first. We had plans in place for retirment and our horses never went to slaughter.
    Currently the their are horse rescues and racing industry having an opportunity to send their horses to places like the Woodbine race track called Long Run Thoroughbred retirement and horses may be placed with them for adoption or we can make donations to help care for them while they wait. This has been organized by the jockeys at Woodbine and has been in place for awhile now.
    Also lower mainland BC has the same etc…… it is catching on, though the industry has a long way to go.
    The first and vital step is to inform inform inform people and not assume owners etc know of slaughter……..I know we did not and never heard a whisper about in 5 years? on the back stretch and watching the races.
    Good luck on this much needed expose.
    Paula Peterson

    1. If you are the Paula I knew who loved horses (while I worked at Ray’s sign shop in the late 90’s), can you please reply to this message. I apologize in advance if you are not the right person.

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