Target: Bill Davies, owner of the Aintree Racecourse
Goal: Put an end to the Grand National horse race, which is regularly responsible for horse deaths
The 2013 running of the Grand National horse race was recently completed, but not without protest. This year’s race was the first in nearly a decade in which a horse wasn’t severely injured or killed. One good year, however, should not divert our attention from an abusive and dangerous race. The Grand National must be stopped before more horses are killed in the future.
The Grand National is a steeplechase involving difficult obstacles, fences, hurdles, and ditches. It has often been referred to as “Britain’s answer to bullfighting” and is considered the ultimate test in the sport. Modern steeplechase races average 6 deaths per 1,000 horses, but during the last 12 years the Grand National has averaged twice that with nearly 2 horse deaths each year. These statistics do not include those that are severely injured.
Violence in the race has become a divisive issue in the United Kingdom. Many wish the race to continue for its festivities and atmosphere while protesters voice animal welfare concerns. To make matters worse, the race’s elite don’t seem to be too concerned about its violence. Kate Walsh, one of the top jockeys has made a series of statements saying, “They are horses at the end of the day,” and “They are only horses after all.” Anti-Nationals seem to be winning the battle though. In 2003 only 14% believed the race to be cruel while polling after the 2012 race indicated that number grew to 57%.
There is absolutely no reason this race should continue. Intentionally making a race difficult and dangerous for horses is cruel and heartless. At its core it is no different than dog fighting. The willful endangerment of an animal for the purpose of entertainment is considered a felony in most countries, yet horse races such as this are allowed to remain because of tradition.
Please join the growing resistance and sign the petition below to put an end of the Grand National horse race.
Dear Bill Davies,
With the recent completion of the Grand National horse race, questions about the horses’ welfare are back in news headlines. It is no secret that the race has averaged more deaths and injuries than the world average for steeplechase races. Despite the absence of such injuries or fatalities this year, I strongly encourage you to put an end to a race that is nothing short of deliberate animal cruelty.
The Grand National is specifically designed with the intent of being especially hard on the horses. Endangering an animal for the sake of entertainment, such as dog fighting or cock fighting, would result in felony charges, jail time, and a significant fine. The Grand National falls within these parameters and should be dealt with in the same manner. Tradition and sport are not more important than the lives of these animals. Please discontinue this race and keep its horses safe from harm for something as selfish and insignificant as entertainment.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: PolandMFA via Flickr