Animal Aid

Aintree Kills Yet Another Horse

Posted 13 April 2007

The tradition of horse deaths at the notorious Grand National three-day meeting continued at this year’s event when Into The Shadows died on the opening day (Thursday) after pulling up while running in the John Smith’s Handicap Hurdle race. The seven-year-old mare died as a result of an internal haemorrhage after the two-and-a-half mile race.

There have now been 33 equine fatalities at the Aintree event since 1997, nine of which have occurred in the big race itself.

Aintree, Britain’s second deadliest racecourse after Cheltenham, is due to stage the perversely difficult Grand National this Saturday. Covering a distance of four miles and 856 yards, horses are required to jump 30 obstacles – some of which include perilous drops, ditches and sharp turns. Forty horses usually take part – an excessively crowded field, which adds to the risk of collisions and falls.

Into The Shadows’ death is the sixteenth fatality on British racecourses in just 27 days. Last week, Animal Aid launched Race Horse DeathWatch, a web–based initiative that will make public every on–course Thoroughbred fatality. Among the recent victims are three Grand National favourites, Little Brick, Nil Desperandum and Far From Trouble.

Says Andrew Tyler, Director of Animal Aid:

‘Into The Shadows’ death is one more reminder of the brutal and deadly nature of commercial horse racing. The Grand National meeting itself embodies that cruelty. It has killed 33 horses in just ten years. Saturday’s Grand National puts more horses’ lives at serious risk. Animal Aid urges the public to stop bankrolling, with their betting money, this cruel and uncivilised spectacle.’

More Information

  • For full background and interviews, contact Andrew Tyler or Dene Stansall on 01732 364546.
  • We have an ISDN line for broadcast quality interviews.
  • View Race Horse DeathWatch.
  • View our powerful 90-second web film on horse racing.
  • Read Animal Aid’s report on breeding and slaughter.

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