Two horses die, but money & greed is alive and well...

Yesterday was the John Smith's sponsored annual Grand National horse racing meet at Aintree. The 4.15 race, which see's 40 horses compete a gruelling 4 mile course and jump 30 ridiculously high fences is watched world wide and generates approx. £970,000.00 making it the richest jump race in Europe.

I'm not a left wing tree hugger, far from it. I tried once aged 13 to become a vegetarian which lasted approximately 3 hours where I found myself ordering a cheeseburger in McDonalds forgetting my earlier pledge.

But I cannot comprehend why the Grand National is allowed to go ahead year after year. 35 horses have had to be 'destroyed' (Even the terminology sounds cold and uncaring) since 2000. What other sport would this be accepted in?!?

When I was younger I thought nothing of sitting with my Dad and backing the horse with the name that most appealed to me, cheering them on and even winning £300 with winner 'Don't Push It'. 


But it was last year my feelings began to change & I realised the severity of the race when winner Ballabriggs was not seen completing the usual winners lap of honour; where the Grand National winner is paraded with the jockey, trainer and owner sporting the sort after winners jacket.

It was reluctantly announced on the TV that he was ushered for emergency medical attention; where the thoroughbred needed to receive pure oxygen and had to be dowsed with water due to exhaustion and being unable to breathe. The jockey was later handed a miserly 5 day ban for unnecessary excessive use of the whip on the horse at the last fence.


That same year Dooney's Gate & Ornais tragically had to be put down after falling and breaking their necks at Beachers Brook, a 6"9 angled fence (pictured below) which has claimed half of the fallers in the race since 1999.


Yesterday Synchronised, who just a few weeks ago won the Gold Cup at Cheltenham, and According to Pete also had to be put down because of leg and neck breakages. Whilst us humans can be put in a cast for a leg break to heal, it is very difficult to stabilise a horse in this way so according to Aintree the most humane thing is to put the horse to sleep...

... I disagree, I think the most humane thing do is to not force these horses to run 4 miles whom don't have a voice or choice. Forced to jump 30 ridiculously high fences whilst being whipped during the later stages of the race to make them run faster when it is visually obvious to even a horse novice like myself that these thoroughbreds are tired and struggling. 

Whilst lots of fuss was made over Jockey Noel Fehily & his suspected broken leg yesterday, I heartlessly feel unsympathetic - at least he entered that arena through his own choice and in knowledge of the risks. It serves him right. The two horses who tragically lost their lives yesterday did not have that privilege.

Hypercritically one year during the IRA bomb scare at Aintree in 1993, tweed wearing racehorse trainer Jenny Pitman gave an interview in tears stating that she was extremely concerned for her poor horses welfare and was distraught with worry as the racing venue was evacuated. I remember thinking on learning about this when I was older; "What a stupid woman, if you cared that much about your horses you wouldn't enter them in such a race anyway."


I don't think many animal rights campaigners would be as vocal if the race was shortened and made a flat without the high fences.

Ben Wilson, of People For The Ethical Treatment of Animals stated:
"What sort of person, upon reflection, can find it amusing or ethical to bet on exhausted animals, knowing that some will crash face-first into the ground, and career into one another in the deliberately punishing & hazardous course"

At least Paul Nichols (yesterday's winner Neptune Collonges trainer) has agreed to retire the horse from racing. Lets hope the RSPCA can further intervene ...& that perhaps nieve people like me, who didn't think of the consequences when picking a horses name eventually see this sport for what it is. 

Cruel, unethical & totally unacceptable.

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57 comments:

  1. I totally agree. It's barbaric and it's only been in recent years that I've actually realised.
    x

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  2. I 100% agree. I used to find it so exciting when I was younger, not knowing the consequences of it all. But after last years race I vowed to never bet on horses again. It's so cruel. X

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  3. I completely agree, I think it is disgusting how they treat these horses xx

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  4. This is such a good post - I hope things are about to change, with enough pressure on the racing industry x

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  5. Fantastic post, i totally agree with you x

    harrihairandbeauty.blogspot.com

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  6. I couldnt agree more, the whole thing angers and upsets me so much. Such poor animals :( if only the humans got the same treatment..it would be a different story. wish it could all be banned.sickening. xx

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  7. Such wise words, i was completely oblivious to what happens in these races so naively placed a number of bets. yet when watching physically felt sick at the sight of horse after horse falling face first in to the ground closely followed by that huge black screen which only means one things..
    My boyfriend thought it was a total overreaction and we debated for hours, how this had been a tradition for so long and that it will never be banned. I have to agree, a sport backed by the queen herself will more than likely never be banned what’s stopping them from making it a safer race? shorter courses, shorter fence and less horses?!
    I realise this was more of an essay than a comment, oops.

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  8. I totally agree! People in this country get outraged at the fact bull fighting still goes on in Spain yet see this as civilised? The height of the fences are ridiculous and the people involved with training and riding the horses claim to be horse lovers yet put them through such risks. You'd like to hope that the Government would end it, like they did with other animal 'sports' but unfortunately there's just too much money in it for them and other powerful people. xxx

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  9. couldn't agree more!

    if animals can talk and everything, really, humans will all be in so much trouble..

    Great post, nicely done!
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    xx

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  10. 100% wholeheartedly agree with you. This year was the first year that i have actually watched it on the tv, and it truly shocked me to see all the horses fall . What i found even sadder was the fact that Synchronised actually ran away before the race started, makes you wish it had run further away!
    I have never and will never bet on the grand national! i don't see why they can't just have a flat race or not let as many horses run! absurd!! x

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  11. i agree with Josie's comment, people really like to point their finger at other actions and then they go on doing the same uncivilized attitudes. I'm really worry with animals nowadays, a lot of people seem to keep justifying their choices on turturing animals because of tradition and culture... i don't really understand it :< I just happen to bump into your blog but i had to comment this post, this is so sad :<

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  12. Totally agree with you its disgusting, and I don't really like horses because they scare me but they are beautiful.
    Wish it was the jockeys being whipped so they know what it's like.
    It's like torture!
    :(
    xo

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  13. I totally agree, it's so upsetting :(

    Jess
    xxx

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  15. I completely agree. The jockeys should be treated like the horses!!! xxx

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  16. Only just seen this post, I totally agree you with I find it heartbreaking animals are used this way just for human enjoyment it rages me.


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  17. such a great blog honey!!! ;D
    xoxo

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  18. I totally agree with you.Its so sad and cruel :( I feel terrible cuz horses are my favourite animals in the word .Really great post dear!!!It's so nice that you are so sensitive <3
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  24. I am really not sure whether I agree with horse racing or not. I work at a racecouse and enjoy the tips that I get because my clients have won on horses, but I hate knowing they are dying and being mistreated sometimes just for people to possibly win money.

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  25. I completely agree with you on most points here, especially the use of the whip which with recent laws should be more stringently regulated. I have to disagree on one point though, in my personal experience and owner of an ex race horse, these horses love to race. When I take my horse to the gallops I can feel her excitement and she thoroughly enjoys it and races whoever I'm with. I don't use a whip or force her to do it. Having worked with racehorses and backed horses in races myself I can promise you if they didn't want to come out of the gate they wouldn't.

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  26. I agree completely - thank you for doing such an informative post. More light should be shed on these horrible injustices!

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  29. Here here! Too often it's glorified for fashion and social status. Great post! I didn't know about Ballabriggs.. good to see there are consequences.. x
    http://withoutinstructions.blogspot.co.uk/

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  30. i had no idea that so many died! :(

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  31. People are so selfish and greedy , sorry I am open about this question . I live on the place where are so many abandon dogs , feed them , give them water and fight with people when they try to kick them or hurt them on any way , but I feel like Don Quixote. I live in flat and I can't bring some of them. One of them is very special to me and he is very stubborn , probably someone beat him. This stories always put me in bad mood , I know we are helpless , dog , horse , pig , cow ...Over the world stories are similar and poor animals pay with own life . Take care , wish you luck ,I usually when I see someone bother dogs start to yell . Don't know is it normal , but I don't want to be silent observer . Kisses , you are nice girl !!!

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  33. This made me nearly cry, at races if a horse losses he get put down thats just wrong and out of line, it like me going up to a human and kill him/her it wrong for us to do it to a human so why is it okay to do it to animal its just plain wrong :(

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  36. great post girl! very informative :)

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  37. Every year I get angry about this - and how the BBC builds it up as 'the nation's horse race'. Well I'm sorry - but I don't want any part of it. The jockeys choose to take part. The horses don't.

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  39. i feel sad :(
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  40. i HATE when ppl think they can harm animals. it angers me so much! great, informative post. love the blog btw

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  42. I doubt that the jockeys care much for the horses that they ride... I think they approach their work as simply as a carnivore would think of a pig: food. x

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  46. Such a good post, I'm so against the grand national it's all about the money no care for animals at all xx
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  47. I so totally agree with you, I hate this race and think it should be stopped. Those horses didn't ask for or deserve that fate. It is heartless cruelty for human entertainment, and i refuse to watch it.

    Stories of an English Rose

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  48. I have always hated horse racing, I've argued with my dad countless times because he occasionally watches it. These poor horses have no say in whether or not they do it or not, they are forced because people find it entertaining to watch. Its cruel. :(

    Ash xx

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