Racehorses could end up going to slaughter

 By GALEN EAGLE, Peterborough Examiner Staff Writer


Local horseman Steve Gassien pets his eight-year-old standardbred Hi Tech Tony at his practice oval on Providence Line, east of Peterborough, Ont., Monday, April 30, 2012 afternoon. If the government’s decision to cut the Ontario Lottery and Gaming's Slots at Racetracks Program spells the end for the provinceÕs small racetracks, Gassien said horses such as Tony will be destined for the slaughterhouse. GALEN EAGLE/PETERBOROUGH EXAMINER/QMI AGENCY

Hi Tech Tony looks built for racing. A huge, lean, dark standardbred, he pulls a sulky at a slow gallop on his practice oval while his owner Steve Gassien watches with amusement.

“He’s the biggest horse I have ever had,” said Gassien, taking a break from his 12-hour day at his rented barn on Providence Line just east of Peterborough. “He’s one of my favourite horses of all time.”

Gassien describes Tony as a big, friendly, goofy horse who likes to play. Tony also has a peculiar love for Scotch mints.

“He’ll whip you right into a stall to try to get one out of your pockets,” he said.

The eight-year-old has been a good investment. Purchased for $8,000, he earned Gassien $40,000 last year and $12,000 in the first part of this year.


  1. Going thru older emails…I came across this. Do I dare ask whatever became of Hi Tech Tony?

  2. Asumptions are wrongg · ·

    Haha chill out about Big tony he isnt going to slaughter dumbies

  3. think of it this way….less family owned farms….less racetracks less breeding…less buying….it just encourages horses to be on the decline…how many people still keep around their VHS? when dvds came around…times are sadly changing and people don’t see the importance of profit…unless u live in a teepee and grow your own vegetables…lol or live off social assistance I cannot understand how society could overlook the affect of loosing one racetrack after another….everyone will still live in there large suburban home, driving each their own car, buying their crap from china and shaking their very confused heads at horse-racing…yet when its gone u will still all be doing this and their will just be less horses! because money doesn’t grow on trees because suburban families don’t buy horses or support the industry that allows people to own horses!!! ignorance is bliss and i guess peta must own a large farm that goes around saving horses…..NOT:(

  4. if people can’t make a living off horses, they will be humanely euthanized and tossed in a dumpster like the spca!!! owning and running a farm with a profit not debt allows individuals to own horses for leisure, to grow their own organic grain and harvest their own hay- this lifestyle is on the decline because city people just don’t understand!! people struggle to own dogs and cats how can they afford to own a horse, how many horses will be saved by this approach??? there are some great individuals who take the time and money to ready these horses for re-homing. What do you think Tiffany ready to adopt a horse??? and the government does have an ethical obligation to block the slaughterhouses…guess the states has us over a barrel on this issue!!! they banned it and we should too:(

  5. You would think that a horse that had earned that kind of money would have a place of honor in your barn! What a revolting human being!

  6. 2fasthorses · ·

    Its always the same the horse wins the owner $$$$ and when it ends off to slaughter he goes. You should be ashamed of yourself for making such comments as if you really care about this wonderful horse. I’m so disgusted with the entire horse racing industry. Every owner should be required to put a part of the horse’s earnings aside for its retirement not slaughter! Our two rescued OTTB’s are wonderful.

  7. So if you can’t afford to keep him if you lose the Government sponsorship’ why would you have to send him to slaughter? Would he not make a fabulous horse for someone who could afford to keep him. You say he’s your favorite. If that’s how you treat your favorite I would not want to know what you did with your least favorite. If you can’t do anything else with him then at least give him a dignified death. Euthanize him with some of that money he earned you, you selfish prick.

  8. Yes steve, contact the long run reetirement location, dont kill your horse.

  9. Paula P · ·

    This gentleman should contact the Long Run Retirement Society who take and place horses just like Tony into their care until a suitable home can be found. The information for Long Run can be accessed easily thru Woodbine Race Track…..

    1. 2fasthorses · ·

      Thank you yes rescues for racehorses are wonderful options!

  10. D. Tiffin · ·

    Wow. Your friendly, goofy horse, who’s earned his owner $32,000 over and above the cost of the original “investment” will be jammed onto a truck, shipped to Quebec, perhaps after a brief stay at the local kill-buyer’s lot on Hwy 36 in Lindsay. There, no one will offer him a scotch mint. They will funnel him into a kill box. He will be attacked with a stunning device – a bolt between the eyes – many many times. Being an intelligent animal, who is used to kind treatment from humans, he will view the butchering area, where he’ll see other horses hanging by one leg as they bleed out after “stunning” – not killing. Undercover video has documented up to 33 attempts to “humanely” stun horses like Tony. He will be terrified and betrayed. All because Steve is running a business – no room for sentiment. Profit or out the door. Don’t blame the government for your greed and cruelly Steve Gassien. Blame yourself.

    1. Totally in agreement. with D. Tiffin.

    2. 2fasthorses · ·

      Everything you stated is so true!

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