Grand National Festival: More horses die for our entertainment

7th April 2019

For Southport folk of the older generation, the Grand National still stirs up wonderful memories of the superhorse Red Rum. He was a true champion greatly renowned for his jumping ability. He was also one of the more lucky ones as he never fell in 100 races.

Nevertheless, the Grand National has a more sinister side.

Up for Review suffered a fatal injury in the National on Saturday after it was brought down at the first hurdle.

The RSPCA stated: “The RSPCA is deeply saddened and very concerned to see that three horses, Forest Des Aigles, Crucial Role and Up for Review died at the Aintree Grand National Meeting this year”. The death of just one horse is one too many; so there is clearly a need for urgent action to reduce the risk of these tragedies occurring. We will do all we can to work alongside the British Horseracing Authority (BHA) to explore the action required to prevent future injuries and deaths.”

Horses that fall, may be injured badly and face a painful death before a vet can reach them to end their suffering. This sport is conducted in the name of fun, entertainment and gambling profit. In the racing industry horses are seen as commodities, not sensitive, responsive beings. See this link for evidence:

The big fancy hat brigade

Wearing big hats and fancy clothes fail to justify the inherent cruelty behind this out-moded animal abuse spectacle. The fancy dress code aspect of the controversial race meeting is a leftover absurdity of the fashion once seen in red-coated riders and their suitably attired entourage when rushing out into the countryside, to rip a few unlucky foxes to death.

Getting dressed up, for bloodletting events, runs deep into the human psyche. Horse, racing, fox hunting or the horrors of bullfighting all see certain dress codes.

Moreover, the great affection that some racehorse owners claim to feel towards their animals is a peculiar thing. It may perhaps be compared with a dog owner who claims to adore his animal but cannot resist seeing how it does in an illegal fight, ending in ripped flesh and possible death, against another savage but unfortunate dog.

True and companionate concern for an animal does not place the beloved beast in a situation that may result in pain, injury or death.

Of course, these words will attract scorn and loathing from the socialites with vested interests, i.e. gambling, fashion, fun and the common ‘who cares a damn’ attitude.

Of course, horses love to run and need exercise, yet not to the extreme of killing them on lethal races like the Grand National.

Lists of horse deaths:

Animal welfare group Peta said:

‘When horses used for racing get too old or stop performing well enough to be profitable, they’re often sent to slaughter. Approximately 1,000 horses from the industry are killed in abattoirs in Britain every year and turned into dog food or cheap meat, while others face horrific live-export journeys to Europe.’

Review (in-house) called for by authority

Aintree and the British Horseracing Authority will again conduct a review after three horses died during the three-day Grand National meeting.

This is a farce: what is needed is a truly ‘independent’ review, not one conducted in-house by those folks with a vested interest to keep the spectacle alive. Constant lip-service calls for fresh reviews of the Grand National fail each year as more lovely trusting horses continue to die. Naturally, money talks louder than any sincere concern for our ever – faithful, four-legged friends.

The Grand National is not the gloriously ultimate, extreme challenge, of a horse’s ability; it is a cruel and frequently lethal spectacle of abuse against a trusting animal that relies upon us to do right by it.

Like dog fighting, bear and badger baiting along with fox hunting its high time this barbaric so-called sport was resigned to the history books.

One horse death is one death too many!