10/22/2013 5:28PM

CTHS Ontario Division cancels winter mixed sale


The Canadian Thoroughbred Horse Society’s Ontario Division has cancelled its 2013 December mixed sale due to a lack of entries.

In the coming days, the CTHS will distribute details regarding an online auction for the horses that would have been available during the sale.

“It’s a sad business, cancelling a sale that we’ve run forever,” said CTHS Ontario National Director Bernard McCormack. “We had 30 entries, and the cost of printing catalogs and just getting the thing up and running is just a huge loss. Having 30 horses to show to the public doesn’t create much to run a horse sale.”

McCormack said that the cancellation would only affect this year’s December mixed sale, and that the auction would return to the sale calendar in 2014.

“This is just a one-off thing,” McCormack said about the cancellation. “We’re looking for stability and don’t have it now. We have a rough outline of where it’s going to be in the next five years, with the budgeting and everything, but our breeding industry is really hurting.”

The Ontario breeding industry has been in a tailspin in recent years due to uncertainty over province’s slots-at-racetracks program. In response, Ontario’s reports of mares bred fell by 44 percent in 2013, as did the number of stallions that covered mares.

In early October, the province’s government announced that it would provide $400 million in public funding to support its Thoroughbred, Standardbred and Quarter Horse racing industries over the next five years – from 2014 to 2019.