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What do we do with them all? A euthanasia debate

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  • #41
    Very good point, Pronzini. When you can't tell what good your money is doing (or not) it's hard to have faith in that kind of mechanism.
    I tolerate all kinds of animal idiosyncrasies.
    I've found that I don't tolerate people idiosyncrasies as well. - Casey09

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    • #42
      Originally posted by Glimmerglass View Post
      Maybe if a fatter live foal registry fee - like $300 which would go towards the horse's "social secuirty" - was mandated then it would stop some of the mass production.
      While on the one hand a higher registration fee might make some stop and think before going through with the breeding to begin, I think there needs to be some sort of sliding scale. I don't think it's fair to hold the small time breeder who breeds a beloved mare or two to the same standard as Ernie Paragallo and his Unbridled's Song. Folks like him need to be forced to care from right out of his bank account.

      A percentage of a stud fees would ultimately make more money than a reasonable fee on top of foal registration, would it not?

      Comment


      • #43
        Originally posted by Barnfairy View Post
        I think there needs to be some sort of sliding scale. I don't think it's fair to hold the small time breeder who breeds a beloved mare or two to the same standard as Ernie Paragallo and his Unbridled Song. Folks like him need to be forced to care from right out of his bank account.
        Agreed that no answer is cut and dried with every breeder being able to fit in the same box. So sure there would have to be some additional criteria.

        At the end of the day the money to support those horses who flop has to come from someone. People seem to think that the tracks are somehow awash in money - people see the glitz of the Breeders' Cup and think what they want - but we know the truth. They're struggling. Bettors are already angry with the take outs being burdened by the track, wagering outfits, the state and its share of taxes. And so forth with people all playing a role in what makes up the system

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        • #44
          Originally posted by Barnfairy View Post
          While on the one hand a higher registration fee might make some stop and think before going through with the breeding to begin, I think there needs to be some sort of sliding scale. I don't think it's fair to hold the small time breeder who breeds a beloved mare or two to the same standard as Ernie Paragallo and his Unbridled Song. Folks like him need to be forced to care from right out of his bank account.

          A percentage of a stud fees would ultimately make more money than a reasonable fee on top of foal registration, would it not?
          It would kind of depend on the percentage. Percentages can range from .00001% to 99.99999%.
          Plus that is fraught with problems. Some fees (often the biggest) are listed as "Private treaty". Many people pay less than the advertised fee. Some people have shares and get an alloted amount of covers. etc etc

          A straight fee per foal is the fairest way. don't see why there has to be a sliding scale. If the fee is $X, you breed one foal you pay $X, you bred 150 foals, you pay 150 x $X

          Comment


          • #45
            Originally posted by Barnfairy View Post
            While on the one hand a higher registration fee might make some stop and think before going through with the breeding to begin, I think there needs to be some sort of sliding scale. I don't think it's fair to hold the small time breeder who breeds a beloved mare or two to the same standard as Ernie Paragallo and his Unbridled's Song. Folks like him need to be forced to care from right out of his bank account.

            A percentage of a stud fees would ultimately make more money than a reasonable fee on top of foal registration, would it not?
            That was an unfortunate example. They should charge that bastard a million to register each foal with the balance being given to the people in charge of cleaning up after him.
            McDowell Racing Stables

            Home Away From Home

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            • #46
              When we abolished horse slaughter in this country we took away any chance to legislate HUMANE euthanasia , such as was described in an earlier post , with a gun to the head .. Now they end up on a truck to Mexico or Canada and we have NO control .. The bottom line is to control breeding in this country not just with race horses but with all horses.. But then people scream their rights are being trampled , I wonder how many people in this country would continue to breed horses if their was a mandatory breeding fee of $500.00 from racetracks to backyards and fines imposed for illegal breeding. Money to go to certified equine rescue / rehabilitation and euthanasia programs across the board.. Until we are truthful with ourselves nothing will change , The majority of breeders in my state are breeding nothing for nothing , we have no racing industry left to speak of and yet they continue to breed horses . Yes this is the only thing they know and it’s a hard reality but it is reality.. How many of you if truth be told know breeders who shouldn’t be breeding? CANTER wasn’t designed as a rescue , yet somehow it’s resources are eaten up with taking in CANTER owned horses now.. How many trainers on how many tracks would pay for the advertising services CANTER has afforded them over the last 10 years ? Even if it was $25.00 a posting it would still go a long way to helping support some of those horses being dumped on CANTERS doorstep . there is a lot of money in racing , we all know where it is .. It’s just not making it’s way down the line to those in need .. Should the rich be responsible for retiring or crippled race horse , YOU BETCHA it’s their game !

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              • #47
                How can the owners claim to not have the money to pay for euthanization (or keeping them on pasture for that matter) when the money they pay to keep the horse in training each month is so high, not to mention that they keep buying and breeding more horses?

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                • #48
                  Originally posted by NMK View Post
                  A real question...are there any owners on this board that are willing to take a horse back that they bred? Have you done so? I would like to hear your story. I know we sent one back to the late John Hettinger. It was on her papers and no questions were asked.
                  I do, and I write my information on the papers. I have 4 here now. I place them if I can, but if they aren't suitable riding prospects, then they stay with me. I know Claiborne Farm, Stone Farm, Padua and Adena Springs will take them back and try to retrain/rehome. All four of those farms have a dedicated area for retraining. I'm sure there are others.

                  ETA - I also advocate an increase in registration fees. Add another $100 per horse and earmark it for retirement/rescue. I'm a small breeder and I wouldn't mind paying it.

                  Comment


                  • #49
                    Originally posted by magnolia73 View Post
                    Not to be a devils advocate- but are rescues and CANTER enabling them to be irresponsible by accepting very broken down horses? Allowing them to not create a solution that isn't stomach churning? Not only are you covering the expense, you are covering the moral burden. I think you should begin requiring a $600 donation for the broken ones- yup, we'll pick him, that will be $600. Perhaps you'd get some for whom the aversion to euthanasia is a moral issue.
                    I like this idea. If a person were unable to make the decision to euthanize a horse, and instead gave a no hoper to a retirement/rehoming organization like LongRun or Canter, if it cost them the amount to euthanize and dispose of it, perhaps they would do it anyway, but maybe they would save everyone the trouble of donating a crippled horse and deal with it themselves. Then those organizations could focus their resources on the ones who are easier to rehome.

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                    • #50
                      Originally posted by Drvmb1ggl3 View Post
                      ...don't see why there has to be a sliding scale.
                      Because I'm looking for a quick fix, trying to get into the pockets of those who freely spend oodles at the sales and then distribute the wealth amongst the $4000 claimers....shoot, does that make me a Marxist?

                      Originally posted by Laurierace
                      That was an unfortunate example.
                      Unfortunate, perhaps, but quite intentional. He has no one but himself to blame for being scapegoated.

                      Comment


                      • #51
                        Originally posted by saratoga View Post
                        How can the owners claim to not have the money to pay for euthanization (or keeping them on pasture for that matter) when the money they pay to keep the horse in training each month is so high, not to mention that they keep buying and breeding more horses?
                        Not all owners are rich. For everyone paying Plecther and Baffert $150/day to train their $1m yearlings, there are guys living out of their pick-up trucks at BF Nowhere Downs with a string they own/train/groom/gallop.
                        There could possibly be less horses bred. But then again when you see races that don't fill and lots of tiny fields it's hard to believe there's too many horses.

                        Comment


                        • #52
                          Originally posted by Drvmb1ggl3 View Post
                          Not all owners are rich. For everyone paying Plecther and Baffert $150/day to train their $1m yearlings, there are guys living out of their pick-up trucks at BF Nowhere Downs with a string they own/train/groom/gallop.
                          There could possibly be less horses bred. But then again when you see races that don't fill and lots of tiny fields it's hard to believe there's too many horses.
                          Oh, I know that not all owners are rich, I've worked at what is probably THE lowest track in the country- most of the horses are $1500 claimers. A number of the trainers there are broke, living in the tack rooms, as are of course some of the grooms and even the jockeys, but still *most* of the owners are not dirt poor- most have careers and businesses off of the track and some of them are doing racing for a hobby and while not Jess Jackson-rich, are quite well-off. And *someone* is paying to train the horses, medicate the horses, buy more horses, etc.. So no, I dont believe that most of them could not pay to have a horse put down.

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                          • #53
                            If they can afford to run race horses, they can afford to pay (built into the initial cost of registration w/ the Jockey Club, or when they start racing, or somewhere early on before everyone is busy trying to cut their losses) what amounts to a deposit early in a horse's life against the necessity of euthanasia or retirement or even, in a wonderful world, the costs of retraining that now in many cases are borne by charitable organizations.
                            I tolerate all kinds of animal idiosyncrasies.
                            I've found that I don't tolerate people idiosyncrasies as well. - Casey09

                            Comment


                            • #54
                              My utopia would be a huge farm somewhere centrally located, maybe KY that had a guaranteed source of funding through a mandate of some sort. With tons of land and stalls the tough decisions wouldn't have to be made as often. They would have satellite farms for the various stages of life. One for stall rest, one for small paddock turnout, one for general R&R, one for re-training complete with volunteer trainers from the top of their chosen disciplines. Then one for seniors to live out their lives in a segregated herd.
                              With a guaranteed amount of money coming in there wouldn't be huge pressure to turn a horse over immediately to make room for another. People would see the wonderful things that were happening there and want to be a part of it. You would get sponors and volunteers from all walks of life and magic would happen.
                              I always say shoot for the moon, if you fall short you are still among the stars.
                              McDowell Racing Stables

                              Home Away From Home

                              Comment


                              • #55
                                Originally posted by Glimmerglass View Post
                                The upside I see to this bad economy is this great news: 2010 projections: Jockey Club projects smallest foal crop since 1977



                                It should be another 25% lower in my view.

                                Maybe if a fatter live foal registry fee - like $300 which would go towards the horse's "social secuirty" - was mandated then it would stop some of the mass production.
                                I registered my TB colt though he will never see a racetrack and I would not go through the registry if the cost were $300.

                                I have also fostered Tb's for CANTER and Friends of Ferdinand, so I feel like I do my part, and donate to CANTER, and on occasion, to another rescue here in the state.

                                One of the reasons I'm not more involved with the in state (any breed) rescue is that I disagree with their policy of spending thousands of dollars on a horse that will never be useful. I believe there are lots of things that are worse than euthanasia, and when large sums of hard-to-come-by money are spent on horses that will never be sound it is a misuse of funds. I chose to spend (my very small amount) of money on some that could benefit by a bit of retraining to be resold/rehomed.

                                I'd say every equine sport, not just racing, could have a starters fee that would go into a fund for euthanizing and disposing of horses that have no chance for a useful, comfortable life. I believe we owe it to our animals to do right by them once we've owned them.

                                Comment


                                • #56
                                  Oh, jeepers, I didn't want to be, but I'm drawn in.

                                  IMHO, this is all about indiscriminate breeding as well as quantity breeding. There are far too many fillies/mares who are rehomed to be broodmares because there is the perception that there is nothing else to do with them.

                                  There must be mechanisms in place to enable ex-racers a reasonably appropriate life after racing. I realize that "reasonably appropriate" can have myriad interpretations. There are probably people who would criticize the care I deliver to my horses who are, in my opinion, given better than adequate care under stressed circumstances. OTOH, I know they have it better than many, many horses whose owners have fallen on hard times or are ignorant about what is even minimally okay.

                                  We all know that the majority of the horses sold at the FT sales at Saratoga (for just one example) will probably either never make it to the races; be mediocre; may be flashing brightness for a while and then crash/get injured....

                                  Some may make their way through the claiming ranks and end up at the low level tracks with owners trying to eke out another dollar from them. And this, COTHers, is where my beef comes in.

                                  Preaching to the choir, I realize, has limited benefit. Yet this is a huge community of horse people and you have opinions to share!

                                  At Finger Lakes, my stomping grounds, we (a general "we", trainers in general) take in horses that don't make it on the NYRA circuit. Some really unscrupulous trainers send horses here that are destined to break down and become someone else's mess, but I won't be listing names. I also realize that there are multiple reasons why a horse isn't competitive at NYRA and can be superstars here.

                                  When they are done here, even if they are sound, there is the burden of finding the best possible post-racing home. Soooooo...we are effectively the dumping grounds for horses that have failed the fast test.

                                  The Finger Lakes Thoroughbred Adoption Program has an on-site barn with horses available for adoption. Additionally, there is an active Trainer's Listings site for horses on track or on adjacent farms who are available for sale (for little money).

                                  I propose that several mechanisms are put in place to facilitate re-homing of these TBs.

                                  1) Breeders will pay a surcharge for the post-racing care of their deliberately created equines, added on to their JC registration fee;

                                  2) Owners and breeders will pay a per-start surcharge;

                                  3) Owner/breeder will pay a percentage of purse money.

                                  I recognize that campaigning a TB is expensive and not always lucrative. But breeders must be accountable for the flesh on the hoof they have deliberately created. If their horses don't perform on the track, well that sucks, but why in hell should they be out of the loop when it comes time for the horse to be placed somewhere off the track?

                                  Additionally, let's be more discriminate when standing a stud (because he's got 'em) and taking in a mare because she can be bred (and possibly her bad conformation, bad temperament, lackluster breeding) and there's nothing else you can do with her?

                                  There is a great deal of personal responsibility and accountability to be reckoned with before we can get serious about dealing with the glut of unwanted horses.

                                  Comment


                                  • #57
                                    So some like the idea of a new registry fee - e.g. the $300 per horse with the JC (or whatever organization) - for a horse intended for the track. Le's further say if the breeder wants to opt out of racing Y horse then, maybe, no fee charged but Y horse can never race until that is paid. The intent would be then that the owners of X horse could draw against that fund when they leave the track.

                                    Great... but lets face it we've seen so many pension funds run by slick folks, crooks, and blue-chip financial firms too who've squandered, mismanaged, looted via insane maintenance fees, et al that I'd be really doubtful it could be administered.

                                    Just recall that the Jockeys' Guild lost much of their money from fraud within by people close to the jocks and entrusted with the money.

                                    While it would be possible that the $300 per horse fee could be invested to modest annual returns and compounded over a multiple year career I'm quite certain the whole program would eventually have a scam or two by those crooks looking to draw out Y horse's eligible fund only to learn Y horse is later killed and the money pocketed.

                                    Let's face it you create a cash-for-clunker program with retired horses from the track. Each horse would have a one-time cash payout and no guarantee that money paid to the new "owner" is going to put that money into the horse's well being.

                                    As we all know "the road to hell is paved with good intentions" ....

                                    Comment


                                    • #58
                                      Originally posted by Pronzini View Post
                                      Which is exactly why I wish Carma would be more explicit about what it's doing with the money. If I added up my donations this year, it would probably be less than $100 and for that reason I don't opt out but I'm sure over the course of the year with everyone, it's millions.

                                      Who's getting that money and why isn't it spelled out on the link? At least mollify us with a success story.
                                      It does seem like a good program, Pronzi. I too am happy to contribute.
                                      Personally we have one pasture puff who I would have euth'd, but my husband is a softie. We just gave two away as riding horses. There are reputable people who do re train, re sell.
                                      Euthanasia seems the easy way out. A horse is no longer useful and isn't breeding stock, let's euthanize. or send to slaughter. People need to be accountable for horses at the end of their careers. I fully agree on that!

                                      Comment


                                      • #59
                                        Originally posted by foundationmare View Post
                                        Oh, jeepers, I didn't want to be, but I'm drawn in.

                                        IMHO, this is all about indiscriminate breeding as well as quantity breeding. There are far too many fillies/mares who are rehomed to be broodmares because there is the perception that there is nothing else to do with them.
                                        I agree completely. These are all great ideas, but the problem will never be solved until you get rid of breeders that are breeding low end, crappy horses. I know all about crappy breeders, because I boarded at a TB breeding farm for a couple of years...nice people with a good amount of money, standing 3-5 stallions (mediocre) that they probably make money on standing to outside mares. They also breed 12-15 foals a year of their own, by the mediocre stallions and out of mares purchased at Keeneland for 2-10K (otherwise known as Not Fantastic Broodmare Potential). The foals sell as yearlings for an average of 2K...they have had an occasional one go for up to 20K (and that one they bought the mare in foal). I am only aware of one or two winners that they have actually bred. There may be a few more, but not many. And we're not talking about Churchill or KY racing, we're talking about Indiana-breds racing at Indiana and Hoosier Downs.

                                        The kicker is, they don't really do it for the money. I'm sure that they lose money on at least 75% of the foals they sell. But they're making money on the stallions and enjoy the babies, so apparently they don't care. So, lets just say for the last five years they have put an average of 60 foals on the ground. That's 12 foals that, if they're lucky, may win a race or two out of 20...30...40? And then what? We all know what's going to happen to them.

                                        So. I DON'T think you can fix things without raising registration fees.

                                        How much does it cost to register with the Jockey Club? If you're discussing raising fees to $300, apparently not a lot. If people had to pay double that, $500-750 per foal...that might solve a lot of the problem right there.

                                        Caitlin
                                        Last edited by RedMare01; Aug. 24, 2009, 10:40 PM. Reason: to ad "don't"
                                        Caitlin
                                        *OMGiH I Loff my Mare* and *My Saddlebred Can Do Anything Your Horse Can Do*
                                        http://community.webshots.com/user/redmare01

                                        Comment


                                        • #60
                                          Originally posted by FairWeather View Post
                                          As it stands though, I'm kind of tired of protecting the image of racing. The reality is that these horses ARE being killed, the racing industry just gets to point to the slaughter-plant as the problem, instead of where the problem originates.

                                          Thats like blaming the gun for someones bullet wound.

                                          Now, where is it originating?? Thats another can of worms, isn't it? Well, I have yet to see a horse end up at the slaughter plant, or at the other end of a giant dose of Vitamin Pink that wasn't ever bred in the first place.

                                          If people want to keep this "game" going, they need some answers, and they need them now. Slaughter isn't the answer, but killing them humanely? That might could be the answer. Disgusting, gruesome, wasteful, heartless--yes, all of it. But if you want to play in this game, if you want to breed an animal, buy and animal, claim an animal, run an animal, make money on an animal, make demands of an animal,...Well, you should be willing to (at the VERY LEAST) humanely kill that animal if you can't find it a perfect home and you can't care for it for life.

                                          My jaded, worn-out, just had to put down ANOTHER ravaged 3 year-old-with baby teeth opinion.
                                          Excellent post. The sport, and those involved in it, need to be held accountable for the horses that fall by the wayside or are broken down beyond help/rehab and can't be rehomed.

                                          I have a wonderful boarder here at my farm now. A person who co owned a racehorse mare and when the horse was claimed and run into the ground by a not so good trainer...and was ready to step on the meat truck, she got involved, bought her, rehabbed her, and now has her close by where she can take care of her and relearn how to be a horse mom. There are some responsible owners in the sport but certainly it sounds like there are a lot that are not. The mare is a lovely horse and we are enjoying having her here.

                                          I'm not sure what the answer is but at least there are some great folks like Fairweather out there doing what they can to help.

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