Showing posts with label dontbet. Show all posts
Showing posts with label dontbet. Show all posts

6 April 2017

The Grand National

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?

8 April 2016

Nothing so Grand About the Grand National

I want to give you some names.  

Kingfisher Creek.  Provident Spirit.  Properus.  Clonbanan Lad.  Marasonnien.  Minella Recption. Gullinbursti.  

Sound familar?  Probably not.  But these are the names of seven horses who have died this week in UK horse racing.  At Ascot, Doncaster and Aintree.  Three fatally wounded, two collapsed and died after the race and two who fell and died during the race.

From the time that Animal Aid began their record, some nine years ago, 1378 horses have died in UK horse racing.  That is 3, every single week.

Tomorrow is the Grand National.  The nation's past time.  Families get together and play bets every year.  Workplaces have sweepstakes.  There are "jokes" about who will get the one who came last, or died.  Because we know that they die in the Grand National, we watch every year as it takes place.

The course is much safer they say.  The horses would not race if they did not want to they say.  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.  In 2012, only 15 made it.  As for the horse wanting to race, I am sure no one has ever managed to explain to them the odds of them dying, or that they will be beat with a mandatory whip whilst trying to get around the course.

Yes you did read that right.  Riders in the Grand National are actually required to carry a whip in order to race.

I'm not going to show you photographs.  Because we have all seen what happens.  It is more a surprise when no horses die in the Grand National then when they do.  But as the jockey Ruby Walsh said a couple of years ago "You can replace a horse".  

They are not given value, they are just ever replaceable stock, without worth; especially when they are injured.   When they die, as we saw in 2011, they are merely "obstacles in the way".

So what is so grand about the Grand National exactly?  We dress it is as being the nation's past time.  The one time a year that many ever place a bet.  We talk about what people are wearing, we have "Ladies Day"; we glamorous this barbaric institution with family fun and champagne.

The interesting thing to note is that we describe ourselves as a nation of animal lovers.  We recoil in horror at places like Spain with their bullfighting, calling it inhumane and disgusting.  Yet we think nothing of the fact that we routinely kill 3 horses every single week in a sport that cares nothing for their safety.

Imagine if this was any other sport.  Like football.  Can you imagine players dribbling the ball around a dying Wayne Rooney?  Theo Walcott being carried off on a stretcher and shot because his broken leg made him useless to the sport? People cheering as only half of the players made it through the game?  People cheering as a player fell and broke his neck, because their favourite player was still in the game.

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, are we not better than this?

10 April 2012

An F1 Dilemma

Unless you have been living under ground over the past few weeks, you will have read, and probably engaged in discussion regarding the Bahrain Grand Prix.

From an F1 fan point of view, I haven’t yet seen a single fan who supports the race going ahead.  Safety is more important than an F1 race and yet here we are, the Shanghai Grand Prix is almost upon us with Sakhir following the next week, and the race is still on.

It has been said that to guarantee (and you can never guarantee anything really in those circumstances) that nothing less than a complete military lockdown would ensure the safety of the teams, the drivers, the fans. 

It is only two years ago that Jenson Button was faced with men brandishing machine guns at his car on the way back to his hotel and had it not been for the quick thinking of his driver, who knows what could have happened.  That was Brazil.  The threat is far, far greater in Bahrain, anything can happen.

As I have said, so many fans have spoken out against the race going ahead, myself included.  But there, we face a quandary.  The race seems to be on.  We know it is unsafe.  We have all said that it shouldn’t happen.  But will we still watch it?

For me, the answer is I don’t know.  On the one hand my head says nothing may happen, I don’t want to miss the race.  Then there is a pause.  For if I truly believe that the race going ahead is wrong in the current circumstances, am I feeding the beast by watching?

Formula One is a circus is fuelled by money.  Open up Bernie Ecclestone and you would probably find coins running through him, not blood.  But if we watch the race, are we any better?

In other aspects of my life the answer is simple.  I abhor horse racing and believe it is barbaric, the Grand National in particular.  I will not watch and I am actively trying to encourage others not to watch and not to bet.  The Grand National is something again fuelled by money and only the power of people turning against it, not watching and not betting is going to make a difference.

With Formula One however this is just one race.  Next year things may be different and the controversy surrounding the race may be gone.  Can I watch this year, knowing lives may be on the line for the sake of sport?

The answer to this question is I don’t know.  Do you?

28 March 2012

I Need a Favour

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