http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2026436/Aintree-fences-safer-deaths-2-Grand-National-horses.html

 

http://www.theguardian.com/sport/2011/aug/15/bechers-brook-landing-side-raised

 

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/sport/horseracing/8933757/Opinions-vary-over-extensive-modifications-made-to-infamous-Aintree-obstacle-Bechers-Brook.html

 

http://www.theguardian.com/sport/2012/may/01/grand-national-rspca-bechers-brook

 

http://www.itv.com/news/story/2012-04-12/grand-national-fever/

 

https://ignitevitality.wordpress.com/2015/04/12/the-not-so-grand-national/

 

http://www.wsj.com/articles/SB123878475122787389

 

http://www.playbuzz.com/dawnofthedads10/hows-your-grand-national-knowledge

 

http://www.liverpoolecho.co.uk/news/local-news/grand-vision-future-aintree-unveiled-3432815

 

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2611060/Drunk-pregnant-woman-left-woman-needing-15-stitches-scarred-life-biting-face-fight-Ladies-Day-Ascot.html

 

 

http://dailypopfwd.blogspot.com/2011/04/bbc-in-grand-national-cover-up-two.html

 

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/racing/article-1375241/GRAND-NATIONAL-2011-What-jockeys-said-Ballabriggs-won-Aintree.html

 

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2597048/Its-meant-racing-not-boxing-Drinks-fists-fly-ugly-brawl-breaks-near-finishing-post-Grand-National-Festival-Aintree.html

 

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/sport/horseracing/grand-national/9974805/Grand-National-2013-Little-Josh-becomes-second-horse-to-die-over-the-big-Aintree-fences.html

 

http://www.horseandcountry.tv/news/2011/11/02/changes-be-made-2012-grand-national

 

http://www.rspcavic.org/issues-take-action/horse-welfare/

 

http://www.foxsports.com.au/horse-racing/three-people-in-hospital-after-horse-jumps-into-crowd-during-grand-annual-steeple-at-warrnambool/story-e6frf41l-1226050593833

 

http://www.stylist.co.uk/life/horse-and-rider-take-a-tumble

 

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/racing/article-2026396/Peter-Scudamore-Aintree-cut-speed-fence.html

 

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/racing/article-2026396/Peter-Scudamore-Aintree-cut-speed-fence.html

 

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/racing/article-2530501/Nose-landing-Limerick-Montana-Slim-OConnell-flying.html

 

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2130246/Grand-National-2012-Aintree-tragedy-avoided-insist-racing-experts.html

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/sport/horseracing/9207433/We-must-keep-working-learning-and-making-Grand-National-a-better-race-says-Newbury-veterinary-surgeon.html

http://www.thisismoney.co.uk/money/markets/article-2126767/Bookies-predict-massive-payday-punters-Gold-Cup-winner-Synchronised-wins-Grand-National.html

 

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/sport/horseracing/grand-national/10748246/Grand-National-2014-Jockeys-maintain-silence-as-BHA-seeks-date-for-inquiry-into-Aintree-start.html

 

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/sport/football/8454389/Des-Lynam-defending-the-Grand-National-is-harder-than-the-race-itself.html

 

http://www.jeremybrett.info/forum/viewtopic.php?f=39&t=477

 

http://www.theaustralian.com.au/sport/deaths-force-changes-on-grand-national-course/story-e6frg7mf-1226115797151

 

http://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/sport/superracing/ballabriggs-wins-uks-grand-national-horse-race/story-fn67r1j3-1226036731023

 

http://maggiesemple.com/grand-national/

 

http://the-history-girls.blogspot.com/2013/04/grand-national-memories-katherine.html

 

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2304135/Grand-National-2013-Animal-welfare-groups-attack-stomach-churning-spectacle-horse-death.html

 

 

https://preciousjules1985.wordpress.com/tag/grand-national/

 

http://www.thetimes.co.uk/tto/news/uk/article3731217.ece

 

https://www.animallaw.info/articles/armpequineliability.htm

 

http://sportsboundguide.com/tag/steeplechase/

 

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/sport/horseracing/8440267/The-Grand-National-2011-in-pictures.html?image=3

 

http://www.manchestereveningnews.co.uk/news/greater-manchester-news/grand-national-organisers-to-review-safety-858160

 

 

http://www.cnn.com/2013/04/04/sport/grand-national-race-horse-deaths/

 

 

http://www.liverpoolecho.co.uk/whats-on/grand-national-runners-aintree-2014-6897785

 

http://www.giga-sport.co.uk/grand-national-tickets/

 

Cheltenham

 

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/sport/horseracing/cheltenham-festival/10698634/Ruby-Walsh-subjected-to-online-taunts-after-breaking-arm-at-Cheltenham-Festival-following-horse-comments.ht

Aintree Composite FINAL
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CARNAGE

The Britsh Grand National Race at Aintree

CLICK ON LARGE IMAGE BELOW TO VIEW FULL-SIZE AS A SLIDE 

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WHAT IS THE PURPOSE OF THIS RACE... AND RACES LIKE IT? 

CLICK ON ANY IMAGE BELOW TO VIEW FULL-SIZE AND AS A SLIDE SHOW

In the world of horse sports, there is death.   Death does not just happen at the Grand National held at Aintree Race Course outside of Liverpool. It happens everywhere.... including the United State, both at public tracks, "town & country" steeplechases, and all-too-often in training.   

 

However, The Grand National is the poster child for its "tradition," "carnage," and frankly despite recent changes, the "reluctance" to change and then grudgingly after repeated outcries from animal rights groups and scorn by the media.*  See just a small sample of article-links be.

 

Below you will find two galleries of photos.   The first should sicken you both for its carnage and for the arrogance to call this and similar races "sport," when they are nothing but "demolition derbies" which would not even be tolerated by NASCAR.  The second set of photos shows you the grandeur of this spectacle and how diametrically opposed its glamour and frivolity is to the injury and death to the competitors on the field.  It is boasted that the British love their horses. The foot-dragging to the safety improvements for Grand National and all steeplechase puts that "love" into question.   

 

Simply put, were I the Czar of Horse Sports, I would make a rule:  

What needlessly happens to the horse has to happen to the owner and the rider.  

This would end the carnage!  That would drive demand for even safer jumps which are still competitive. 

I underlined "needlessly" because as in any sport... despite every attempt to be safe... injuries and death occur.

And, as experienced horse owners, we have seen horses literally injure themselves to death, or their ultimate demise.  

 

 

"Johnny"        

John David Sottile

General Manager

 

 

* The United States has its own issues with track deaths.  See further below.   However is not with The Breeder's Cup, which was by stewarts in the American Thoroughbred community to be the "Super Bowl" of racing for various types from 2 Y.O. on up, sprints, distance, dirt, turf, and jumps.  It first ran in 1984. 

 

On October 27th, 1090, The Breeders' Cup was run at Belmont Park.  The day was tragic. Go For Wand, the favorite filly, shattered her cannon bone in the last 100 yards of a stretch drive.  She could not be saved.  Then Mr. Nickerson suffered either a heart attack or an aneurysm as he fell in the backstretch which caused two other horses to be injured.  The Breeders' Cup was in trouble.  To the credit of all, the organization immediately undertook studies and steps to prevent such a disastrous day in the future. 

 

While there have been improvements in the racing industry, there are still too many deaths... and too few corrective measures being taken.

 

http://www.breederscup.com/history/event-year

 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Racehorse_injuries

 

http://www.horseracingintfed.com/default.asp?section=Resources&story=570

From the opening of the movie, "The Horse Whisper:"    

Annie MacLean (played by Kristin Scott Thomas), mother of

Grace MacLean (Scarlett Johannsen),  who loses her leg in the opening truck-horse accident scene

which takes the life of her friend Judith (played by Kate Bosworth) 

reads, in voiceover, as she studies to save her daughter's horse

from euthanasia due to severe physical and stress injury...

 

"A million years before man, they grazed the vast empty plains, living by voices only they could hear. They first came to know humans as the hunted knows the hunter.  Before he used horses for his labors, he killed them for meat.  The alliance with mankind would forever be fragile.  For the fear he struck deep into their hearts was too deep to be dislodged.  Since that neolithic moment when a horse was first haltered, there were those among men who understood this.  They could see into the creature's soul and soothe the wounds they found there.  The secrets uttered softly into troubled ears.  These men were known as the Whisperers."

COMMENTARY

The Burden & Responsibility To Sport-Horse Safety

 

Somewhere along the way with ownership of animals for sport or food in the case of cattle, one develops a "religion" -- a spirituality -- about the animals and the DIGNITY that they deserve while living for either ultimately providing us pleasure, such as going to the races... or nutrition, such as slaughter.  That DIGNITY is born from the dependence -- helplessness -- which we foist upon them through ownership.  Horses have no say about the race they are being entered... and whether they feel up to the course, distance, and trip... cattle have no say about the timing or order of their demise or the purpose for their carcass.

 

So, let's dig deeper into DIGNITY because horse racing -- which we support -- EXPLOITS a very nature of the animal; running in herds and jumping.  Notwithstanding, when one EXPLOITS -- takes advantage of -- an animal's instinctive nature, one must take on the responsibility of going too far.  A rider/jockey cannot exploit a natural tendency of his/her mount before s/he threatens a horse's wellbeing. Odd as it may seem with horses use through history and valor in wars, horses are "defensive" animals; they are prey.  They do not attack.  They run from their predator... and left to themselves, they only run far enough and fast enough to get out of the danger's way -- about a quarter of a mile -- a distance honed by Darwinian survival by the animal that has 35+ mph speed.  Then they stop (usually less than 1/4 mile)... look back... snort... paw... watch... and instinctively decide whether to stay or to run further.   In summary, any horse race beyond a quarter mile race "pushes" the instinctive distance which requires training.  This is the responsibility of ethical owners and trainers.  Any race at any distance with a rider up burdens the horse's center of gravity which in turn changes the balance, and safe assage.  This is the responsibility of the rider/jockey.