Ken Morden of Oak Knoll Stables has informed Trot Insider that he and Caroline Thornton have come to the tough decision to disperse their Campbellcroft, Ont. breeding operation effective today (Jan. 13).
“Effective Monday, January 13, our five broodmares and four yearlings are being put up for sale,” Morden told Trot Insider, adding that Claude Brault will be handling the dispersal.
“For a boutique operation like ours, it is impossible for us to make money, let alone break even, unless we are at capacity (10 broodmares) and the prices for the yearlings are high enough to recover costs,” Morden explained. “This has not been the case for the past year and a half. We were the second highest consignor at Forest City in 2012, and a year later – with the same mares and more than 50 per cent Ontario-bred yearlings – we were one of the lowest. We decided to sell our 2013 crop privately and that has improved our finances but not enough.”
Morden told Trot Insider that the Ontario Liberals’ decision to move away from the Slots at Racetracks Program is the reason why Oak Knoll Stables is shutting down its breeding operation.
“The decision by the Liberals to shut down the SAR Program with only a one year notice has been disastrous for us,” Morden said. “We will no longer be spending money on feed, farriers and hay, and we will no longer be able to keep our good, hardworking, honest staff to help us run the farm.”