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Re: Animal Aid – is horseracing cruel?

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    • Total Posts 15

    There are several races run during the course of the nh season over the Grand National fences (albeit shorter) – but no one is suggesting these may be dangerous.

    There are testing fences on the course – it wouldn’t be a great race if the conditions weren’t demanding – but they are not all monsters and the work done over recent years to make them safer can only be applauded.

    The biggest danger is the number of runners and the ability of the horses allowed to enter. Having so many horses hurtling toward a fence  (especially at the short start before they have time to settle) is simply not safe.<br>There isn’t enough time and visibilty to read the fence.

    Heavy ground may be more tiring and result in less finishers but its the fallers rather than pulled up than need to be considered in terms of safety. I would hope the jockeys are good enough to pull up a tired horse.

    Out of the 16 fallers last year, how many of those were bought down by Paddys Return running across the fence in front of the field? (I can’t remember) and does any one know if Aintree have taken any measures to help prevent this happening again?

    • Total Posts 9

    These are the figures for the fatalities at Aintree (and I got these from the Animal Aid website who aren’t likely to lie about these)<br>2000: 5 during whole meeting, 0 in actual National<br>1999: 4 ”            ”         ”           1 ”   ”           ”<br>1998: 5 ”            ”          ”          4 ”   ”           ”<br>1997: 8 ”            ”          ”          0 ”    ”          ”<br>So I do agree with whoever it was said about the hurdles at Aintree. <br>I can’t remember how many died during the meeting last year but I know there were no fatalities in the National itself.<br>Lets not forget about the origins of steeplechasing – from ‘steeple’ to ‘steeple’ over the countryide. If the Grand National, or indeed any steeplechase is supposed to represent this then of course there are going to be ditches and water jumps. The fences have been modified numerous times over the years and I wouldn’t really want them to get any ‘easier’. Do people want plain fences? The fact that horses like Suny Bay and others are able to complete the course year after year should show that there is no problem with the fences, the problem is the loose horses and the weather. And yes, perhaps the number of horses competing should be reduced to perhaps 20, and there should be stricter rules to say ‘who’ can compete. If it really was as bad as these people seem to make out do you think you would get trainers/owners entering horses, and jockeys wanting to ride in it?<br>But I’m shocked to find that they are able to organise protests like this so publically and no moves are made to stop them. Is this how riots start?<br>

    • Total Posts 224

    Yes it definatately looks like Aintree need to examine their hurdles course.

    I am interested to hear people arguments to why horse racing is NOT cruel.

    I don’t think it is cruel, i love horses and horse racing and i think the fantatical groups like Animal Aid consider only what they believe to be correct without actually considering the animal.

    • Total Posts 2685

    With regards to comments made about the quality of horses running in the National:  there is now a minimum rating which horses must attain to get a run in the race and inexperienced  or unsuccessful jockeys are also banned from competing (most recent example was Tony Coyle who had been booked by Ginger McCain, no less).  The most recent fatalities over the fences were  The Outback Way and Eudipe, who were both Championship class animals.  The Outback Way was actually killed while jumping around loose in the John Hughes.  

    Some years ago it was de rigeur for horses with appalling completion records to be entered (who remembers Hattinger – form read FUFPFF – sometimes in sellers!!  I believe Ray "Iron Man" Goldstein rode – he fell.)

    • Total Posts 73

    There are various checks that are now done on National runners as Rory says,  Each horse is given a series of veterinary checks to make sure they are fit and healthy enough to compete, there is a minimum rating for each horse, jockeys have to have had a certain number of winners over fences (cant be sure but I think its 15).  

    In the last few years there has been a group of people put together, each year when the entries are made this group (of knowledgable racing people – one of whom was Capt. Tim Forster) get together and go through each horse individually, to see if they think they would be capable of jumping the National fences.

    The fences are A LOT softer now than say 15 years ago.  I was talking to a guy the other day who had ridden over them before the modifications and he said it was hell raising!!! but he would come out of retirement to ride in it now!!

    One of the reasons suggested for banning it, was due to the extreme distance and size of the fences.  Well how about 3 day eventing?  Surely for the same reasons this is more cruel than the national, but i’ve never seen any animal rights campaigners hanging around outside of events.

    • Total Posts 6

    Don’t give them ideas! Don’t worry, they’ll move onto eventing soon enough.

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