Animal Aid

The 2010 Grand National Meeting - The Killing Continues

Posted 9 April 2010

The first day of the 2010 Aintree Grand National Meeting claimed the life of yet another young race horse.

Six-year-old mare Pagan Starprincess fell fatally at the first obstacle in the final race of the day – the Silver Cross Handicap Hurdle. The field was crowded with 22 runners for the two-and-a-half mile race. A post mortem revealed that she had suffered a head injury, when the shoe from another horse flew off and hit her skull.

Thirty-one horses have now been killed at the annual Aintree three-day meeting since 1999.

Five horses perished at last year’s event and now this year has already seen a fatality two days before the notorious Grand National race itself.

Says Dene Stansall, Animal Aid’s Horse Racing Consultant:

‘Aintree continues its shocking record as a graveyard for race horses. Racing can no longer hide dying horses behind green screens and think that the death will not come to the public’s attention. Animal Aid will continue to expose the lethal hazards that horses are forced to confront at Aintree and other courses around the country in the name of sport.’

More information:

  • For full background and interviews, contact Andrew Tyler or Dene Stansall on 01732 364546.
  • An ISDN line is available for broadcast-quality interviews.

Notes to editors:

  • Animal Aid’s Horse Racing Awareness Week – seven days of campaigning and awareness raising – runs from 4-10 April 2010.
  • View our powerful 90-second web film at
  • Of the approximately 18,000 horses bred each year by the closely related British and Irish racing industries, only around 40 per cent go on to race. Many of the ‘low quality’ newborns are destroyed, while those who do enter racing suffer a high level of fatal injuries and stress-related illnesses, such as gastric ulcers and bleeding lungs.
  • Around 7,500 race horses leave British racing each year, yet very few go on to a sanctuary or adoptive home.

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