December 30, 2001 at 17:38 #4269snaffles83Member
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Have you seen the latest from Animal Aid?
”The biggest demonstration Aintree has ever seen.”
Just wondered what the opinions were of fellow Forumites.December 30, 2001 at 18:11 #102004ALIMember
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I’m not a supporter of the Grand National, i think its barbaric. It degrades horse racing and is an obvious target for the anti’s. I agree with their first point, the death toll for this race is a disgrace, i’m not shure if the figures they give are correct but none the less the Grand National is more of a gauntlet than a race. Half the horses in the race should’nt be, some of them clearly do not stand a chance of completeing the course but are only entered as the owner or trainer would like a runner in the race. The distance is not the big problem here, its the fences and the amount of runners. So what if the course officials ‘are doing their best’ to improve the fences etc. I think some of the comments made after this years National were laughable, people were saying it was great that no horse was injured etc, sounding as if they were almost surprised (it was a near miracle that no horse was killed or injured, lets face it!). The only thing that keeps this race going is the history behind it. If there was no such thing as the Grand National and someone tried to start that race up now, do you think that could happen, would you want it to?
I’d be happy to see the back of this race, i think its a joke, thats my opinion anyway!!!December 30, 2001 at 18:18 #102005KatyMember
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I think I might join in with that, I could do with a free trip to Aintree!!!
They’re all lunatics. Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â If racing is banned I dont suppose any of them would give a home to the horses they’ll be just looking for the next hobby to ruin. Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â you never know at some point they might target knitting – for the stress a sheep goes through when being sheared :laugh:December 30, 2001 at 18:28 #102007Jim JTSMember
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I’ll go along with what ALI has said, we must think of the horse first, they are wonderful animals, I know most are well looked after and are adored by all connected with them but for me the Grand National is a very gruelling race that has loads of dangers, ie. large fields, large obstacles, unfit horses(?), ditches, water jumps.
This is my opinion! ;)December 30, 2001 at 18:44 #102009KatyMember
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If the connections didnt think the horses could manage the race or were at risk, they wouldnt run them simple as that. Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â
Racehorses are there to run not stand around in thier stable, with TBs especially there is a risk at any time. Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â They can get cast or colic stood in thier box, break down on the gallops, be involved in traffic accidents, they break legs on the flat etc etc. Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â
I bet if there wasnt as much publicity about the race and being world famous and it was run around Sedgefield for example (but with National fences) there wouldnt be half as many people calling for it to be banned.
Compare Aintree to Pardubicka, the obstacles there are a hell of a lot more dangerous. Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â What with Ploughed fields, "in-and-outs", solid timber fences and the Taxis, if I were a horse I know what I’d prefer!
Saying that I doubt I would run any of mine in the National, but then again I get nervous watching them school and run over hurdles!!!December 30, 2001 at 20:14 #102012siddersMember
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All in all I get fed up of all this year after year.<br>ALI…..You mentioned the fences,yep their big,but if you have a chase race and a horse dont pick up it’s going to injure itself.So in reality this could happen any time and any day,so why pick out the National.Why not pick a 2miler at Fontwell???.I do believe horses are quite clever and if the horse does’nt want to jump…he/she wont.<br>Why dont we look at the stats since the national started and look at the ratio of runners to deaths. !!!!
Jim…….Large fields,If you actually go to the course and look their is ample room for them all and they all dont run in a straight line do they.<br>Ditches and Water Jumps…..are their not ditches and water jumps at any other NH venue<br>Large Obstacles….see what I said to Ali.
I know this is a bit of a touchy subject but I’m just giving my opinion and dont want to upset or I aint having a go at anyone………….December 30, 2001 at 20:23 #102013SeagullMember
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It must be that time of year again.<br>The subject will never go away but ok so they ban the G.NAT what is next?<br>I live in a big seaside town and on the marina they have painted signs about how cruel sea fishing is so lets ban that as well it will go on and on .If a horse falls in a race how many pick themselves up and still jump the fences even in the G.Nat this happens what about show jumping should that not be top of this list as the fences are even higher?<br>Some of the fences at Plumpton even Frankie Dettori could jump without a horse but horses still fall there so lets ban that as well.December 30, 2001 at 22:20 #102015Jim JTSMember
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Just for the record – "I don’t want the Grand National banned" just make it a bit fairer to horses ;)
sidders, when I said "large fields" I meant that there are too many horses that shouldn’t even be in the National as they get in the way, ie. no hopers, horses that are too old and at the end of their careers and don’t have a realistic chance of winning it unless casualties happen, they only get in the way. And about water jumps & ditches, of course there are these at other courses but I would like to see water jumps & ditches removed from racing altogether, and the Grand National fences are like no other fences in the world so don’t compare them to fences at "Fontwell" ;)
ps. If I don’t like the Grand National then respect my opinion of it, we all have out own views and this is mine, I’m only making a point! :)December 30, 2001 at 23:20 #102017snaffles83Member
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What p****s me off most about these anti groups is that they think they can make decisions for us. Whatever happened to freedom of choice/speech. If you don’t like it, ignore it. We don’t stuff our opinions in your faces so don’t stuff your opinions in ours. The Grand National has undoubtedly become ”tamer” in recent years, and undoubtedly will become even more tamer in years to come. Why don’t they just leave it at that!
Jim, when I watch the Grand National from decades ago, I believe it has become fairer, and will become even fairer. If I’d the choice between jumping the GN fences now and the fences 50 years ago, I know I’d choose todays. Saying that, I can barely even jump a showjump :laugh:.
To me, the reduced fatality rate stands for something.
I agree with you Ali that sme of the runners shouldn’t be there. However, to me personally, the NH season just wouldn’t be the NH season without 1.) Cheltenham Festival and 2.) Aintree.December 31, 2001 at 00:33 #102019ScotiaMember
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IÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢m with Ali and Jim on this one.
The National is a great race which attracts not just UK viewers but a world wide audience. Yes the race is full of history so it must never be given up but more improvements should be made to restrict the type of publicity these idiots are putting out and attract more people to the sport. What these idiots want is to be able to say I told you so. JTS says ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã…â€œwe must think of the horse firstÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã‚ÂDecember 31, 2001 at 01:08 #102023Steve MMember
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The right sort of horses jump round year in year out – Red Rum, Corbiere, Greasepaint, West Tip, Durham Edition, Suny Bay to name a few off the top of my head.
The wrong sort of horses cause the problem and the fault is with owners and trainers for entering them. Horse which can’t jump properly to begin with have no right running in it.
There is nothing wrong with the race, it is a proper test of a steeplchaser – although I don’t think it should have been run last year. The ground was atrocious.December 31, 2001 at 01:39 #102027ScotiaMember
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Agree with that point Steve M the ground was atrocious and the race should have been abandoned. There was a good possibility the Clerk Of The Course was under a lot of pressure to run due to World Wide Media commitments and sponsor pressure. Bringing into question the horseÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s safety possibly being secondary.December 31, 2001 at 08:14 #102029VenusianParticipant
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I would have thought that a good indication of danger in a steeplechase is the number of horses that end up on the ground, ie who fall or are brought down.
If you check on the RP site you’ll see that the 2001 National had 40 runners, of whom 16 fell or were brought down.
In 2000, the National also had 40 runners, of whom 16 fell or were brought down.
The only difference as far as I can see is that in 2001 horses were falling, or being brought down onto, much softer ground than in 2000, and so were running a lower risk of sustaining serious injuries. Racing on fast ground is far more likely to result in fatal accidents than racing on heavy ground.
So, if running the National wasn’t a problem in 2000, why was it one in 2000? Is getting a horse caked in mud ‘crueller’ than getting it’s leg broken?December 31, 2001 at 09:29 #102031Steve MMember
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If you look at the stats over any number of years ven, on the whole very few horses finish when it is heavy and most finish when the going is good or better.
I agree very fast ground is far from ideal either, but the ground in last year’s National was not just heavy it was actually unracable and would of been called off had it been any other day’s racing in this country or the rest of the world.<br>December 31, 2001 at 11:50 #102033roryParticipant
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It’s interesting to note the comments of the RSPCA’s Bernard Donigan on this year’s National; He thought the race was perfectly safe, and deserved to go ahead, as did ALL the trainers there on the day (including those without runners in the big race).
While the race might have turned out to be a farce for most punters, as a PR exercise it was quite successful (featuring on "Magic TV moments of 2001"). In regard to the stats about horses finishing in heavy ground, it’s more appropriate to look at injury rates on different ground types, and I believe Heavy groud at Aintree produces very few injuries.
Personally, I think the rate of fatalities on Aintree’s hurdles course is far more worrying (and we’re not looking at poor horses here). I’d be interested to hear the views of others.
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