The Grand National: Animal abuse or harmless fun?

By Casey Whiting

The Grand National, a day of extravagant hats, unpredictable weather and nail biting tension as jockeys compete for the Grand National title. A day most people consider to be fun, exciting and care free, but can the same be said about the competing horses?

Since The Grand National began in 1839, countless horses have been killed or injured during the races, with the majority of injured horse being euthanised afterwards due to their injuries. Although the racecourse has been made safer since it was first established, each year horses are still falling to their death and getting injured on the course.

Amie Chapman, Deputy President of Education at DMU’s Student Union, said: “I don’t agree with it [The Grand National], that’s why I don’t watch it on principle. Horses are beautiful creatures, they don’t deserve to be treated the way they are.”

The most recent Grand National horse death occurred last Saturday, the 11th of April, when horse Seedling fell over a large jump and hit the ground. Seedling died instantly.

Campaign group Animal Aid led a protest this year about the number of deaths that occur during horse races such as The Grand National. But as Amie pointed out: “It’s not just horses, it’s dogs too.”

Hundreds of rescue centres have been set up for animals who have been injured during races, but after the hard endurance training they have to go through for the competitions, the animals often do not make good pets or companions.

So the question is, does The Grand National have a place in modern society or should it, along with other animal racing, be banned?

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