Today is my annual post about the Grand National. Some of you will read it, some won’t. Some will look at the blog title and turn away, not wanting my post to spoil your once a year bet on the Grand National. I am hoping that at least one of you reads this post and changes your mind about betting, forever.
I want to give you some names.
Comeonginger. Here All Along. Cadoudoff. Al Reesha. Athletic. Sensible Simpson.
Sound familiar? Probably not. But these are the names of six horses who have died in the past week in UK horse racing. Two died from a broken neck. Three destroyed due to leg breaks. One died from a heart attack.
Animal Aid began a record of the death of horses 10 years ago at the Cheltenham Festival. Since then, 1523 horses have died. That is 3 horses, every single week.
This weekend is the Grand National. Families and co-workers get together at this time of year and choose their horses from sweepstakes or by finding the name of the horse they like best. Jokes are made about who will pick the one who ends up falling. After the race, you will not even remember the horse’s name, except if it won you some money.
Did somebody bet on Comeonginger yesterday because of the funny name? He died of a broken neck on the course. Did someone choose Athletic because he sounded like a good bet? His broken hind leg rendered him useless to the world of horse racing and he was “destroyed”.
Was your £5.00 bet worth the life of a horse? Will it be on Saturday?
They say every year that the course is made safer. But they cannot deny that in a race which is entered by the best race horses in the country, less than half have managed to complete the course in the past 3 years.
Last year, out of the 41 horses that started the race, only 16 finished it. The successful ones make it to the end and are whipped to the finish line. Riders in the Grand National are actually required to carry a whip in order to race.
I was talking about horse racing last week and someone said to me “If we don’t use them for horse racing, what are horses for?” Horses do not exist for our entertainment. They do not need a reason to exist, just like us.
You will either place a bet tomorrow or you won't. My words will either affect you, or they won't. But my mission, as it has been every year on this blog, is to give you the facts, and let you make up your own mind.
I ask you a question, as a national of so called animal lovers, are we not better than this?