Fundraising efforts underway for family who trained 17 deceased race horses

Vancouver, BC, Canada / News Talk 980 CKNW | Vancouver's News. Vancouver's Talk

Fundraising efforts are underway to support a family who lost their livelihoods when a Langley barn went up in flames Sunday afternoon killing at least 17 race horses.

Trainer Walter Slopianka says his friend Bill Davis is devastated after the deaths of the young horses that were being raised to compete in the harness racing circuit.

Slopianka says on top of the animals lives that were lost, tens of thousands of dollars worth of equipment is gone.

“Everything it takes to take care of a horse, be it water buckets, and feed tubs, all the way to Bill Davis’s driving suits and helmets that he uses for racing. Race bikes, all the harnesses, everything that you can imagine.”

If you’re interesting in donating, Slopianka’s contact information can be found at the Standard Bred Canada website:

The cause of the fire is still under investigation.


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  1. I don’t have a lot of sympathy for someone who made their livelihood off the misery of others. I know of families that have been destroyed by gambling and I am sure there are countless others beside.

    Maybe this tragedy is God’s way of telling you that you need to take up sheep farming and stop leeching off the weakness of other people

  2. I don’t have a lot of sympathy for those who blame their gambling addiction on people who provide simple entertainment to thousands and thousands who are not addicted.

    Maybe this tragedy is God’s way of telling gambling addicts to get professional help and stop blaming others.

    • Wow! the overwhelming concern for the horse breeders who lost thier 17 animals and livelhood by the usual suspects is not unexpected.

      They can find solace that the BC Lottery Corporation makes annual grants to the racing industry which these poor owners may be able to draw opon. But whatever happened to the idea of taking personal responsibility to ensure that the safety of horses is paramount?

      Although Kim and company will step with their generous donations, I don’t want my taxpayer money helping out the horse industry and horses who are not children in need.

      The racing industry receives enough taxpayer support.

      • Actually insite, I am a thoroughbred breeder, owner & trainer. And once again, people like you spout off without getting any facts. The horse racing industries in BC contribute a crap pile of money into the economy from the feed, hay, tack shops, grooms, hotwalkers, exercise riders, track workers (which include the mutuels clerks, food/beverage service, casino floor employees, etc etc), farm workers, equipment that is needed from tack to tractors.

        As per the GPEB website: “the province’s horse racing industry provides British Columbians with approximately 3,600 full-time equivalent jobs. This equates to more than 7,400 individuals who derive an income from racing in full-time, part-time or casual employment. The report also estimated the overall economic impact of the industry was more than $350 million.”

        So I’m sorry, but we deserve some taxpayer support. And we actually have children, so if we lose our jobs, I guess you’ll step up to feed them yourself will you?

      • @ Insite: Nonsense. You have no idea what “personal responsibility” they are taking for this loss, including their personal grief. No idea whatsover.

        Nor do you know if insurance will be involved to help with “physical” losses – and I don’t mean the loss of living creatures who were probably treated more like pets than possessions. I’m talking about the hardware they need to make a living.

        By the way, BCLC is not supported by “taxpayers”, nor do they spend much on horse racing. Current numbers show $10 million to racing and $147.3 million to health care services, not to mention $135 million to non-profit community groups. Do your homework.

        You’re entitled to dislike horse racing or gambling in general, but don’t try to invent your own facts.

      • Oh, and no, they won’t get money from the BCLC, they have insurance for the buildings I’m sure, just like all people do when their homes burn down.

        And I’m sorry, excuse me? When a person’s house burns down, do you stand there and ask them if they took personal responsibility to ensure that their house didn’t burn down?

        What a stupid comment.

        • I stand by my comments. People should be outraged that the Government through BCLC supports the racing industry and a pseudo business – a hobby industry with even $1.00. To me education offers a better return to the taxpayer than a horse running around in circles.

          There are many other areas where our taxpayers’ dollars could go. Imagine calling for taxpayer support to horse breeders who get all kinds of tax breaks anyways.

          If you are a horse breeder, as you claim, that certain explains your callous attitude towards the teaching profession. For God’ s sake, use some horse sense!!!

          You certainly have lots to say about everything else but now that I’ve stepped on your toes….finally, this story has allowed a few chains to be yanked.

        • @ Kimberley:

          You ought to know better that fires are preventable by taking the necessary safety steps-unless if arson is involved. If I had 17 thoroughbreds, I would take every precaution to protect my livelihood and investment as well as carry a lot of insurance such as fire and a business interruption rider.

          When you had no time of day for gambling addicts, you were throwing the very people (who foolishly but nevertheless- supported your industry) under the bus. I doubt whether the Diamond family would have ever offered such an opinion. You are biting the hand that feeds you.

          Without revenue from racing and gaming addicts, slots, table games, lottery tickets, etc, you wouldn’t be able to buy feed, hay, groomers and walkers (at minimum wages).

          Your passionate defence of the horse industry is rather misplaced considering that you are an insider and player. You have a vested self-interest to protect the staus-quo. No wonder you hate teachers.

          I’m not a teacher.