I am, I know, pretty opinionated on a lot of subjects. But this subject, it's a passion, it's something I feel truly strong about.
So I'm asking a favour. I realise that some reading this will dismiss what I say and do what they want, which they are entitled to do. We all have free choice.
This is the favour I ask. Please, please, please do not bet on the Grand National. Ideally of course, I would be asking you not to bet on all horse races, but the Grand National is the pinnacle of horse racing in the UK so it's a good place to start.
This post should be read in conjunction with previous post Horses are not for Courses but here is the summary.
In the past five years, in excess of 150 horses per year have died as a result of horse racing in Great Britain. At the time of writing my previous post on the 15th March, the total since the tally began 5 years ago was 804. It is now up to 809. That's 5 horses in a week and a half.
I think that that figure would qualify horse racing as the most dangerous sport in the world. For humans, no, but for horses, yet.
I imagine many people will watch the Grand National this year. I'm sure many people saw the race last year, with the course diverted around the dead/dying horses which the BBC so coldly called "obstacles".
They aren't mechanical these horses. They have feelings, they feel pain and they deserve to live. Not to die as a result of a broken leg, a broken neck, at which point they become "commercially non-viable" and are destroyed. The results shown by Animal Aid are clear. These races are clearly excessively dangerous.
Horses love to run. They don't love to die.
So that's my favour. Please don't make a bet. In an ideal world I'd like to get #dontbet trending on Twitter. That is far out of my reach. But if you don't try to make a difference, nothing ever happens. Please don't bet, please pass this post on.
Not betting on the Grand National won't save a horse's life on the day. But like any big business, which horse racing is, if the money isn't coming in, things change. Here is a link to a form letter drawn up by Animal Aid to use if you wish, asking that the Grand National be banned - Letter to MP