One local horseman calls the provincial government's decisions to stop the slots-for-racing program and pull the machines from Windsor Raceway "unconscionable."
Robert McIntosh owns Robert McIntosh Stables, where 45 people are employed and 90 horses are trained.
"It’s a big blow," McIntosh said. "They’re affecting 50,000 people provincewide. The trickle down affect is huge."
Farriers, groomers, trainers and more work at his stables. He said he annually spends $200,000 on feed.
"That’s all obtain from the local farmers and agricultural community," he said. "It’s going to decimate families. It’s all they’ve done their whole life. They don’t have any other skills."
Farrier Ryan Siddall can attest to that. He and his father are specialists in equine hoof care at the stables.
"I was looking forward to a long future in it. If they take away the slot money I won’t have a future. I’ve got no other skills," he said. "What [is the government] going to do, retrain me? For what job? There are no jobs."
Tabitha Blanchard spent the day grooming horses at McIntosh's stable.
Her biggest concern is for the horses.
She said they will be without homes and jobs and run the risk of being shipped out of country to be slaughtered if the industry dies.
"You can’t feed 200 horses that aren’t making money," she said. "These are our careers. These are our life."