Horse breeders reject foal killing


By ,Toronto Sun

First posted: Saturday, April 28, 2012 06:03 PM EDT | Updated: Saturday, April 28, 2012 06:26 PM EDT

Richard Moylan, a thoroughbred stallion breeder based out of Orangeville, felt “shocked and disgusted” when he read in the Sun that funding to the horse racing industry is coming to an end. He’s seen here with a foal born Friday.

Horse breeders have been brought to tears at the news that the end of the racetrack slots-revenue sharing program is going to result in the death of hundreds of horses.

“This just kills me,” said horse breeder Richard Moylan. “It is simply unbelievable, I’ve never had anything happen like this.”

Moylan, a thoroughbred stallion breeder based out of Orangeville, felt “shocked and disgusted” when he read in the Sun on Saturday morning that funding to the horse racing industry is coming to an end


  1. Wayne · ·

    What a bunch of lies about horse slaughter. I have personally bred thoroughbred horses. Stud fees are due when the foal stands and nurses. You can’t be standing there with a needle to destroy the new born foal all because you changed your mind about the horse racing industry because of the direction it appears to be going. Foals can only be destroyed because of medical reasons or limb or conformation abnormalities. Vets would be in alot of trouble for destroying these foals and lawsuits filed by the stallion owners all because mare owners have had a change of heart. After you have paid the stud fee to the stallion owner and you want to through your new born foal off a bridge; go for it. I don,t believe any of it.

  2. mpclark · ·

    Horses can be used for marketing for tourism, businesses and for special events. They can be used as riding mounts in parks. They can be used at rental stables for families and those who want to try riding. They are used as class horses for equitation students. They have infinite uses.

    All it takes is someone or a group to show the natural initiative and start the ball rolling. This is not a new idea and just another way our horses bring us income. They are ambassadors to a world most people never get to see and would like to see more of. People like horses and horses are good for people in many ways, not just financially.

    Canada has many fine horses to show the world. Why not start marketing what Canada has to offer the rest of us via horses? We would like to know more.

  3. mpclark · ·

    There are no unwanted horses. They are simply in the wrong location for use at this time.Those horses are suitable for businesses and for recreation. Every live horse can be used for years if cared for properly and can be sold if priced to the local market and in other countries and venues. If the sales market is not a suitable place to have these valuable horses at this time, the intelligent approach is to place them at rescues so they can be adopted.

    The US rescue should be a recognized nonprofit and registered as such. In Canada, this may be structured differently. Here, donations to nonprofits may well be tax deductible. which removes a large burden from the donor.

    Some hybrid of both ideas can be developed. A part nonprofit, part for profit operation using horses as trail riding/therapy for veterans/at risk students/general pubiic can be set up and sustain itself from a conbination of private funding and donations via fundraising. That also creates jobs in these areas.

    A facility can also serve as education and traning for veterans and for at risk youth. Therapy riding can mandate staff which is certified in that discipline. The local economy benefits and so do the horses.

    Standardbreds are versatile as are Thorobreds. Any horse has the potential to have a variety of careers and uses over a lifetime which could span 30 years.

    Canada and the US are throwing away income and jobs every time horses are permitted to be slaughtered. This is economic idiocy. Right now, if we used our horses properly as the resource they are, we could be growing jobs and helping populations who need it. Instead, we have to hear nonsense about killing these resources. The conversation has to focus on how to best use our wealth in our domestic horse stock. As long as they live, they are wealth. They always have been.

  4. cath hurwood · ·

    lets lay the blame squarely where it belongs – on the breeders. they breed excess animals for the industry (the horse racing industry!!) which is corrupt as hell and then they want animal people to feel sorry for them and complain. The reason for excess animals is to ensure a certain number make it on the track.those that don’t, well, some of them face a more horrendous fate and then slaughter! there are 4 federally registered slaughterhouses for horses, i don’t know how many provincially and probabaly some that aren’t registered at all. they are busy, killing horses and yes, race horses too. Please do not support the racing industry….where horses are on one side of the scale and money on the other – guess what wins out??

  5. Looks like he should have acted a little more responsible sooner. Less breeding means more money. Greed is what bites them in the butt every time. More horses does not equal more money. Killing his new foals is kinda like shooting himself in the foot at this point. He needs to finish what he started and give the foals a chance to live. They are not trash to just toss out.

  6. How can that breeder suggest that ‘he never saw this coming’? The same thing happened in 2008 and 2009 when harness racing fell apart in QC due to Attractions’ Hippiques (owned by Senator Paul Massicotte) greed, SONACC’s reneging on its deal with horse owners, and the government also refusing to help (although it had been financially buttressing the Senator’s company for some years). Hundreds of young Standardbreds went to slaughter. Could this Ontario breeder not see the writing on the wall and act to protect his horses accordingly?

  7. mpclark · ·

    Why should the horses have to “always pay in the end”? What should be done is to hold these guys accountable for what they do and follow up in media and elsewhere. The horses can be sold to other venues so they can be go elsewhere. That is typical. That is how breeders recoup on investments in future foals. What is not typical is to allow this to go on with Canadians paying for it all. The breeders need to take care of their own issues.

    It is up to concerned people to follow up and make sure public information is made available re the horses being sold to other markets or if there is any more emotional blackmail being used to extract funds from the public. These breeders need to be called on any unethical activity.

    We have breeders here who pull the same act. They get caught and exposed often by following up on their histories. Usually there will be a history of similar behaviors elsewhere. That can be made known on social media. With no cooperation from sympathizers, the blackmail stops and then the real story will appear. That’s when you find out what is actually going on with that breeder. Here, it is often linked to a past involving other unethical behaviors. The claims of financial stress can be discounted at that point and the breeder/auction owner then realizes that threats of death will not work.

    It is up to any breeder to be responsible for what he does. If he is given a pass, it will keep happening, one way or the other. A business is a business. If you own a profit making business and get paid by it, you are responsible for everything that happens in that business. No one is responsible for taking care of your responsibilities except you. Any breeder knows that and any professional will do what it takes to make sure an ethical business remains so. If it takes a personal sacrifice to make sure every horse is found a home, then it does. If a breeder needs help in sales or in rescue, he should ask in media so others can help.

  8. The horses always pay in the end…..

  9. mpclark · ·

    If these supposedly pro breeders paid stud fees, they would have to be fools to then kill these foals. When stud fees are paid, they have be recouped. The usual way to do that is to sell the foals. There are buyers in the US and elsewhere who would buy foals or breeding stock if they were put up for sale. At least these tax dependent breeders would get some money back on these horses they claim they have to sell now.

    My guess is that none of these breeders are competitive enough to stay in business without being subsidized by taxpayers, which is ridiculous. Canadians should not be forced to subsidize entertainment.

    The claims that some will have to kill their horses is simply emotional blackmail. These guys have been around racing for a while and know the score. Foals bring money when sold and the need to bring in money to offset the (predictable) loss of tax dollars would mandate they seek new business and use their personal wealth, including the sales of any assets they may have, to support their own businesses while forging new customer relationships elsewhere. Any other business owner would have to find a way to support himself or be out of business.

    No one owes these breeders anything. If they can’t even figure out that sales to anyone means less loss, they need to sell off their entire operations to business minded racing operators and find new means of employment.

    Any return on an investment is better than none. Any breeder can sell to a private buyer who may be in racing elsewhere or as a private mount for use in nonprofits, work, businesses, recreation, etc.

    To cry in media and expect taxpayers to fund businessness which only provide entertainment is a complete joke. Canadians should not be expected to tolerate foreign-owned ripoff slaughter plants which are destructive, fund an apparenty badly run racing industry and be expected to feel sympathy for these breeders. These breeders need to be monitored and held accountable for their own actions.

    Media should follow up on these breeders and accurately report any attempt to kill foals or sell them to slaughter as a means of handling a problem the breeders caused themselves. There is no need to kill any horses. Selling them gets a return on investment and allows the innocent animal to survive elsewhere with responsible horsemen. Canadian rescues would be likely able to place horses these breeders can’t sell to another market in the US or Europe or elsewhere. If not, US rescues may be able to assist with placing Canadian horses. It is an option these breeders should be exploring instead of weeping in media because the easy dollar is no longer available.

    As a U S citizen, I feel sorry for Canadians who have to tolerate this entire scenario. They sure don’t deserve it.

    1. shoshone · ·

      I wouldn’t be able to slleep at night if I were paying $8,000.00 a month for a farm and had to maintain 70 head of horses. There is no security in renting period. Too bad it is the horses who will pay.

      1. Heather · ·

        well said MPClark. As a Canadian taxpayer I abhor the thought of paying for entertainment, especially when that entertainment involves animals of any kind. These breeders are the main cause for the thousands of unwanted horses that are sent to slaughter every day because they breed indiscriminately, looking for the perfect horse.

        In my opinion, the racing industry should be held accountable for any ex race horse that is found at slaughter house auctions. Maybe if they were made to pay steep fines, they would think twice before breeding 4,000 mares in Ontario alone!!!

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