There are fears Ontario's decision to remove slot machines from racetracks will drive down prices for horses at a major sale this weekend.
Breeders will travel to Dundas, Ont., to auction off their one-year-old standard bred horses
Essex County breeder Bob Ladouceur will auction eight of his animals at the annual yearling sale, near Hamilton.
He said he's invested a lot of money in each horse and may not get a return on those investments.
"Our cost is around $17,000 and I'm afraid we're not even going to be able to get our cost back, let alone try to make a profit," he said.
Ladouceur has been breeding standard bred horses for 20 years.
He said the horse racing industry is suffering because of the province's decision to remove slot machines from raceways.
"The thoroughbred industry had their sale this past weekend and their sales were down 30-40 per cent," Ladouceur said. "So are we looking at the same this weekend? A lot of us feel that yes we are."
Ladouceur also said because of the recent drought in much of Ontario, the rising cost of hay and feed, people aren't likely to buy the horses as pets either.
If no one buys the horses, there is a chance some will be euthanized. Even the Ontario government concedes that's a possibility.
According to the Transition of Ontario Horse Racing Industry Report, as many as 13,000 horses could be put down.
"I'm not going to say I'm going to do it, but ... who is going to be able to continue to feed these horses with no purpose in life anymore?" Ladouceur said.
Ladouceur did insist he would never eunthanize a pregnant mare.
The horse industry isn't alone when it comes to being a victim of the rising cost of feed.
Earlier this week, pork producer Big Sky landed in receivership. It partially blamed the rising costs of feed prices for part of its $77-million debt.
Meanwhile, the province stands by its decision to end the revenue sharing agreement with the horse industry. According to government documents, the annual $345 million spent on the slots program will be reallocated to create jobs and economic growth in Ontario’s health and education industries.