Alex Slingsby writes for the University of York’s Nouse arguing that the Grand National must be changed or banned:
The Grand National on Saturday saw some of the World’s most famous, fittest, and fastest horses compete as millions cheered their lucky number. The Grand National also saw some of the World’s most famous, fittest, and fastest horses die. Not because of disease, or old age. These horses died in the name of ‘sport’.
I do not condone this animal cruelty (because that is all this race amounts to) for one minute. And I don’t think I’m alone in this way of thinking. The issue hasn’t only just been raised this year. In the last decade alone, eleven horses have died because of the race. So, why hasn’t anything been done about it? Will somebody who actually has power over the situation speak up against the practice if the race causes similar accidents next year? I doubt it.
Full article here.
James Docherty also debates the future of one of horse racing’s most famous races for Newcastle University’s The Courier:
Campaigners against Horse Racing say the sport is inherently cruel. Horses lives are strictly controlled from before conception, with the danger of inbreeding present due to desires for strong bloodlines and sometimes natural robustness sacrificed for speed. Colts are then trained hard and forced to gallop and jump, with their weight carefully managed to ensure fair classification within racing. After this, they are run hard over courses, whipped when they start to tire and sometimes placed in events out of their ability range such as the National in the hope of a grand payday for the owners. If a horse consistently fails to perform, it runs the risk of slaughter for no reason other than not providing its owners with a decent return on capital.
The supporters of Horse Racing point out the exact opposite of these claims, highlighting the strict regulation in breeding, controls in training and within races to prevent animal abuse. They also point out that horses, by evolution, love to run in packs and jump; with a fence refused irrelevant of demands by the jockey if the horse feels it cannot make the obstacle.
Full article here.