Grand National Festival: Ban Jump Racing!

Posted on the 6th April 2023

The notorious Grand National Festival, which has killed so many innocent horses, will take place 13-15 April 2023.

The main Grand National race takes place on the final day of the Festival and is an incredibly perilous horse race. It’s run over a stamina-sapping four-and-a quarter miles and has 30 hazardous fences that the 40 horses who take part are forced to jump.

59 horses have been killed at the Grand National Festival since the year 2000, with four fatalities last year.

Animal Aid’s new campaign, which calls for a ban on Jump Racing, was launched in March in order to highlight the dangers to horses’ lives and welfare.

Our hard-hitting new film, created for social media, has been viewed more than 200,000 times since the launch of the campaign!

Jump racing events – such as the Cheltenham Festival in March and the Grand National Festival in April – are heavily promoted through the media, which helps to normalise routine cruelty to horses (such as the use of the whip) whilst failing to present comprehensive information relating to horse deaths and injuries.

We are also calling on compassionate people to take action by writing to ITV and BBC Radio 4, asking the broadcasters to stop promoting animal cruelty.

Click here to write to ITV and BBC Radio 4

For more information:

  • Click here to see a list of the names and details of all the horses who have died at the Grand National Festival since 2000.
  • Animal Aid’s Horseracing Consultant, Dene Stansall, has written a major briefing document on the issues with the Grand National racecourse and event.
  • In 2007, Animal Aid launched Race Horse Deathwatch – the only public record of the names and details of horses killed on British racecourses, compiled using Animal Aid’s meticulous research.
  • Animal Aid’s campaign to ban the use of the whip in racing was supported by 96 MPs. A public opinion poll in 2018 found that 68% of respondents oppose the use of the whip in racing.
  • Animal Aid’s campaign which calls for the creation of an independent body to be responsible for race horse welfare led to a Parliamentary debate five years ago. Animal Aid continues to campaign for the British Horseracing Authority to be stripped of its responsibility for race horse welfare, due to the shocking rate of race horse deaths and injuries.
  • In 2021, Animal Aid’s undercover footage from a UK abattoir that slaughters horses featured exclusively in a BBC Panorama programme entitled The Dark Side of Horseracing. The programme showed that equines, including horses from the British and Irish racing industries, were being slaughtered for their meat. One of the horses featured in the programme was top race horse Vyta Du Roc, who was killed for his meat. As a result of the programme, the British Horseracing Authority introduced regulations that make it compulsory for any horse who is racing in Britain to be signed out of the food chain. Animal Aid wants the government to go further and to introduce limits on the numbers of horses who can be produced, because this will result in fewer unwanted horses. For more information, visit:

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