Animal Aid

Horse Racing


Don't Back the Cruelty: the dark side of horse racing

Most people regard horse racing as a harmless sport in which the animals are willing participants who thoroughly enjoy the thrill. The truth is that, behind the scenes, lies a story of immense suffering.

Approximately 12,000 foals are born into the closely-related British and Irish racing industries each year, yet only around 50 per cent go on to become racers. Those horses who do not make the grade may be slaughtered for meat or repeatedly change hands in a downward spiral of neglect. Of those horses who do go on to race, around 400 are raced to death every year.

Campaign Resources

Beneath its glamorous façade, commercial horse racing is a ruthless industry motivated by financial gain and prestige. Cruelty? You can bet on it!

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Race horse falling

Ban the Grand National

The Grand National is a deliberately hazardous race. Since 2000, 24 horses have died on the Grand National course and, over the course of the three-day meeting, 40 horses have been killed at the three-day in that same period.

Animal Aid is calling for this punishing, uncivilised event to be banned. Our annual Horse Racing Awareness Week takes place in the seven days leading up to the Grand National meeting in Aintree. Please click the links below to find out how you can help raise awareness and join our campaign.

Visit our Ban the Grand National campaign page

Visit our Horse Racing Awareness Week campaign page

Read about our Sanctuary Not Cruelty campaign

Anti-whip protest

Ban the whip!

Horses are the only animals who may be beaten in public for entertainment. Animal Aid has campaigned for many years to ban the whip from racing in Britain. Many jockeys repeatedly misuse the whip because, even when they are found guilty of misconduct, they still keep their riding fees and may not lose their winnings.

Help our international campaign to Ban the Whip

Recent Campaign News

Statement from Animal Aid on Race Horse Deaths (22-09-2014)

Bullet in the head for a long-haul horse (19-09-2014)

Royal Ascot Update: Death Toll Rises to Four (07-08-2014)

Open letter regarding Cheltenham Racecourse (02-07-2014)

Royal Ascot - Three Horses Dead (23-06-2014)

Royal Ascot - Two Horses Dead (18-06-2014)

Two horses die at Plumpton's Sunday races (13-05-2014)

The 2014 Grand National (05-04-2014)

Grand National is more than five times as lethal as other jumps races (04-04-2014)

As attention is focused on the Grand National... Huge rise in horse deaths recorded on courses across the country (28-03-2014)

Full Campaign News Archive

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