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Canada Race Horse Retirement Foundation

Race horse awaiting slaughter “The reality is that even here in the province of British Columbia, our provincial government pours millions of dollars every year of slot machine gambling money into the horse racing industry - none of that money goes to the horses - over six million dollars is given to racing purses alone. This practice only increases the number of horses that meet their death at the hands of an industry that puts profit before the quality of life for its athletes.”


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Just little over a century ago, horses were the primary means of transportation, of logging to build houses, of plowing to grow food, and of companionship to their famillies. Our forefathers and foremothers would be ashamed of how we treat our horses.

The tragic reality is that Canada slaughters nearly 90,000 horses every year. The majority of those horses are race horses and the majority of those horses are the Standardbreds with the Thoroughbreds following close behind. Even thoroughbred champions are not always spared, as the very sad cases of Ferdinand and Exceller illustrate. Ferdinand, who won the Kentucky Derby in 1986 and was voted Horse of the Year in 1987, spent eight years at various stud farms in Japan before he was sold to a slaughterhouse in 2002 and probably turned into pet food. Exceller, the only horse to beat two Triple Crown winners, wound up in a slaughterhouse in Sweden in 1997 after his owner went bankrupt and decided he could no longer afford him. Approximately 80% of horses slaughtered are healthy horses (the fallacy that only the sick, old and injured horses are slaughtered is simply not at all true).

Our country's rescues are using all their resources to help those fortunate few horses that escape the death sentence at the auctions where killer-buyers are waiting to bid on the horses and load them into trucks to their final painful and cruel destination: Our nation's slaughter houses. However, the rescues cannot handle anywhere near the numbers that are slaughtered annually.

A retired pacer in a new career with children doing what horses do so well: Serve their country and their communities.


Our idea is to establish a Canada Race Horse Retirement Foundation to enable the horses to have a second chance to do what horses do so well: Serve their country and their communities. We want to explore and put into practice innovative new ideas to bring horses into peoples lives meaningfully such as inspirations for children with autism, youth at risk, the elderly, individuals with terminal illnesses, as educators of life skills to children and youth, as spiritual healers and thereby saving as many retired race horses as possible from the tragic and shortlived lives they must endure - starting as early as barely the age of two.

We want to open a Center that will come under the umbrella of the Foundation which will eventually serve as the model for opening other centers in other areas and provinces. The focus of the Center will be as described above. The Center is not primarily a riding center since the focus is to show that horses are great educators and natural healers in other facets of life. Children, youth, the elderly are all welcome to experience 'the horse'.

The Foundation will include representative(s) from each of the above sectors to determine how best to introduce and involve the horses into peoples lives meaningfully in innovative, fresh and new ways. The Foundation will also establish fundraising committees and a committee to examine and recommend changes in legislation that will improve the lives of race horses both during and after their racing careers. The Foundation will employ individuals to actively run the Center and encourage volunteers to become involved.

We realize that support has to come from the public. The reality is that even here in the province of British Columbia, our provincial government pours millions of dollars every year of slot machine gambling money into the horse racing industry - none of that money goes to the horses - over six million dollars is given to racing purses alone. This practice only increases the number of horses that meet their death at the hands of an industry that puts profit before the quality of life for its athletes.


What can you do to show your support for the Foundation?

  • We need as many people as possible to write/email to the Premier and tell the Premier why revenues should be appropriated to the aftercare of race horses instead of to racing purses to the tune of over $6 million every year. An email is easy to send and can be written in a split second!


  • Sign our petition on Causes


  • Your donation (however large or small) cannot be underestimated to making the Foundation vibrant and active. Please, give what you can, every little bit sure counts and thank you!

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Long live the race horses!
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