Changes to the 2024 Grand National – A progressive move but the race must still be confined to history

Posted on the 12th October 2023

After years of killing horses at an unprecedented level, the 2024 Grand National will be run under slightly improved conditions. The racing industry has succumbed to public pressure and persistent campaigning by Animal Aid, and other animal protection groups, to make changes to the world’s most notorious horse race.

The most notable changes include:

  • A reduction in the number of horses taking part, from 40 to 34
  • The first fence will be moved closer to the start to slow down the horses as they approach
  • A reduction in the height of two fences and levelling off on landing ground
  • Ability ratings for horses entered into the race are to be increased

However, whilst the industry and public focus may be on the Grand National itself, there are no changes to the race conditions of other races held during the Grand National Meeting and at other times of the year.

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

Whilst any improvements to this dreadful race must be welcomed it doesn’t remove the dangers that are still evident on the Aintree racecourse. Animal Aid will still campaign to end this shocking event, in line with our persistent campaigning over two decades that has forced a number of changes to the race during that time. We reiterate our call to ban all jump racing.

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