The Grand National Meeting: The Issues, Facts and Figures 2023

  • A total of 59¬†horses have been killed as a result of racing at the three-day Grand National Meeting since the year 2000.

Of these:

  • 15¬†horses have been killed in the main Grand National Race
  • 20 horses have been killed on the Grand National course in other races held during the three-day Grand National Meeting
  • 24¬†horses have been killed on the¬†Mildmay¬†Course during the Grand National Meeting

NB The Grand National Meeting was cancelled in 2020 due to Covid-19

  • Animal Aid‚Äôs¬†list of all horses who have died at the Grand National Meeting¬†since 2000, including their details,¬†can be viewed here.
  • In 2007, Animal Aid launched¬†Race Horse Death Watch ‚Äď the only public record of the names and details of horses who were killed on all British racecourses, compiled by Animal Aid‚Äôs meticulous research. www.horsedeathwatch.com
  • Since the launch¬†of¬†Race Horse¬†Deathwatch, 60 horses have been killed at¬†Aintree Racecourse (as at 20 August 2022); 44 of them died as a result of racing at the three-day Grand National Meeting.
  • Animal Aid‚Äôs Horseracing Consultant, Dene¬†Stansall, has analysed the issues surrounding¬†the Grand National in this report.
  • Animal Aid is calling for a ban on jump (National Hunt) racing as a consequence of the huge death toll.

Additional background notes:

  • Animal Aid has been at the forefront of exposing, and campaigning against, the racing industry for more than two decades. https://www.animalaid.org.uk/the-issues/our-campaigns/horse-racing/ban-the-grand-national/
  • Animal Aid campaigns to ban the use of the whip in racing for ‚Äėencouragement‚Äô or any similar term, so that it may be carried for safety purposes only. A 2020 Early Day Motion calling for a ban on the whip was supported by 97 MPs.
  • Animal Aid‚Äôs campaign for the creation of¬†an independent body to be responsible for race horse welfare led to a Parliamentary debate on race horse welfare in 2018.¬†The debate came about as the result of more than 105,000 compassionate people signing a government petition. It called for the British Horseracing Authority to be stripped of its responsibility for race horse welfare, and instead for that vital job to be awarded to¬†an independent¬†body of professionals¬†who¬†would hold the industry to account over the shocking rate of race horse deaths and injuries.¬†We continue to campaign for this goal.
  • In 2021, Animal Aid‚Äôs undercover footage from a UK abattoir that slaughters horses featured exclusively in the BBC Panorama programme entitled The Dark Side of Horseracing. The programme showed that horses, including horses from the British and Irish racing industries, were being slaughtered for their meat. As a result of the¬†programme, the British Horseracing Authority introduced regulations that makes it compulsory for any horse 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. One of the horses featured in the programme was top¬†race horse¬†Vyta¬†Du Roc, who was killed for his meat. For more information visit:¬†animalaid.org.uk/horse-slaughter