Time to Call Time on the Grand National?

By Dave Sawyer, Last updated Apr 12, 2024

Tomorrow afternoon at 4pm sees the UK’s Premier National Hunt Race, The Grand National at Aintree Racecourse, which will see half the country come to a stand still for half an hour or so, what with it being a long term fixture in the British sporting calendar.

However, in recent years, the event has come under increasing scrutiny due to concerns about animal welfare and the changing attitudes towards the use of animals in sports and entertainment. It may therefore be time to call time on this  annual event.

One of the primary reasons to discontinue the Grand National is the risk it poses to the horses involved. The race, which covers a distance of 4 miles 3 furlongs and includes 16 challenging fences, 14 of which are jumped twice, has resulted in numerous equine fatalities over the years.

Since 2000, 16 horses ( Source: List of Fatalities in the Grand National ) have died as a result of their participation in the event. While organisers have implemented safety measures, such as modifying fences and improving veterinary care, the inherent dangers of the race persist.

Moreover, the Grand National has faced criticism for the treatment of horses in the racing industry as a whole. Investigations have revealed instances of neglect, overuse of medication, and inadequate living conditions for some racehorses.

The intense training and racing schedules can lead to injuries and health problems, raising questions about the ethics of subjecting horses to such demands for the sake of entertainment and financial gain.

In addition to animal welfare concerns, the Grand National’s relevance in modern society is diminishing. As public awareness of animal rights issues grows, many people are becoming increasingly uncomfortable with the idea of using animals for sport and entertainment.

The notion of risking horses’ lives for the sake of tradition and spectacle is losing its appeal, particularly among younger generations.

Furthermore, the resources and attention devoted to the Grand National could be better directed towards more progressive and humane forms of entertainment.

Instead of perpetuating an event that places horses at risk, the focus could shift to promoting sports and activities that prioritise the well-being of both human and animal participants.

In conclusion, while the UK Grand National has a long and storied history, it is time to reconsider its place in contemporary society. The event’s inherent dangers to horses, the growing concerns about animal welfare in the racing industry, and the shifting public attitudes towards animal use in entertainment all point towards the need for change.

By calling time on the Grand National, we can demonstrate our commitment to creating a more compassionate and forward-thinking society that values the lives and well-being of the horses that take part in it.

Dave Sawyer

Dave has been involved in the Online Gambling industry for 20 odd years now. With experience working for an operator based in Gibraltar, where he headed up the IT team at Ladbrokes, to running his own iGaming affiliate websites until 2019.

Dave now writes for Casinomeister and sister site Casino Gazette. You may also see him on the forum from time to time, where he goes by the handle Webzcas.

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