Grand National 2023 death toll rises

Posted on the 11th May 2023

A six-year-old race horse, named Hullnback, has become the fourth victim of the 2023 Grand National meeting, following news that the poor horse died of an infection caused by a racing injury sustained at Aintree Racecourse on 14 April.

The other horses killed at the notorious three-day event were: Hill Sixteen, who suffered a broken neck at the first fence in the Grand National race; Dark Raven, who was killed earlier on the Saturday afternoon and Envoye Special, who lost his life on the first day of the meeting.

The news of Hullnback’s demise raises the total number of victims to 63 at the Grand National meeting since 2000. Many more horses would have returned to their stables with injuries and trauma caused by being forced to compete at Aintree.

Grand National deaths add to the shocking race horse fatality figure of more than 3,000 victims killed on British racecourses since 2001 – highlighting the endemic suffering at the heart of this brutal so called ‘sport’.

As a consequence, Animal Aid’s campaign to Ban Jump Racing was launched in March 2023. This was to coincide with the big Jump Racing events of the year – the Cheltenham Festival and the Grand National. To date the campaign has featured bus adverts and a viral film, watched by more than half a million people, aimed at exposing the huge death toll that the racing industry is keen to keep under wraps.

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

‘The racing industry has a broken relationship with race horses. Horses are bred, used and disposed of within a money driven programme that maximises their exploitation with a ruthless thirst.  

Hullnback’s death embodies the pitiful state of an entire equine population in the hands of a self-serving industry. As a consequence, racing is losing public support.’


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