5 Horses Died at This Year’s Grand National Festival. Here’s How Social Media Reacted

Posted by 9 months ago | Permalink | Comments (57)

This year’s three-day Grand National horse racing event claimed five horses’ lives, making it the deadliest in five years.

2016 Grand National Horse Deaths

During the various races held at the Aintree track, Marasonnien, Clonbanan, Gullinbursti and Minella Reception all suffered fatal injuries while being forced to run at breakneck speeds and jump over notoriously difficult fences. After the event was over, it emerged that King’s Palace also ended up being put down after being pulled up lame in the National Handicap Hurdle. This senseless loss of life comes just a few weeks after seven horses died at the Cheltenham Festival.

Horse racing is deadly for animals – and in the past few years, there’s been a huge increase in public awareness  of just how unethical this so-called ‘sport’ really is. 46 horses have died in the Grand National Festival since 2000. As a result, more and more people are choosing to boycott the Grand National, reject office sweepstakes and speak out on social media.

Here are just a few reactions to the bloodshed that’s taken place over the past few days.



Please join the conversation by tweeting your reaction to the horse deaths at the Grand National with the hashtag #YouBetTheyDie. And help hasten the end of this exploitative industry by encouraging your friends and family not to watch or gamble on animals’ lives.



  • Carol nichol commented on April 9, 2016 at 5:08 pm

    It’s an absolute disgrace how they treat horses how would like it if we treated them like that they wouldn’t like it.

  • Irene sciberras commented on April 9, 2016 at 5:08 pm

    …Selfish people.!!!

  • Jacky Bodell commented on April 9, 2016 at 5:12 pm

    All to feed the greed of mankind. It must stop!!

  • Lisa Fobian commented on April 9, 2016 at 5:14 pm

    Horses are like dogs and should only be kept as a loved working horse…like a gentle ride, or simply enjoying it’s majesty.

    • jacqueline commented on April 25, 2016 at 1:56 pm

      these animals have a far better life than many horses kept for “a gentle ride” or those kept to “simply enjoying it’s majesty.”

      HUNDRES if not thousands of those horses are abandoned in fields, on salt marshes, on mountain every year. The lucky ones die quickly. peta, by attacking national hunt racing shows its ignorance in the wider problem that exisits, but because it’s not on tv, they do nothing about it.

      • meghan commented on May 1, 2016 at 2:55 pm

        There are many charities helping those horses that are abandoned in fields, on salt marshes, on mountain etc. I agree that more needs to be done. However horse racing is massive issue that needs addressing to.
        I agree that they MAY be treated better then some other horses, but how it is right that the get whipped and forced to jump ridiculous high hurdles at a high speed which results in injury and sometimes death just for human entertainment?
        No animal should lose their lives in the name of entertainment.

    • J Hornsey commented on July 27, 2016 at 8:09 am

      You cannot play one sad situation against another to make it right, we take a horses good will and temperament and inability to talk to us for granted and abuse it, what would they say if they could talk to us? Maybe we should just use our own common sense and treated them as we would wish to be treated ourselves, this should apply to all animals.

  • Lucy Loveridge commented on April 9, 2016 at 5:16 pm

    I will never bet on the grand national. I’ll never attend any races again. The horses suffer and lose their lives. When will everyone wake up and stop this blood sport

  • Theo Konings commented on April 9, 2016 at 5:42 pm


  • Karen Leader commented on April 9, 2016 at 5:42 pm

    I also think the media such as The Sun should take responsibility and stop offering free bets. This ‘sport’ is well past its sell by date. Horses are not a disposable commodity and its about time those involved in it at any level woke up to the idea.

  • d britton commented on April 9, 2016 at 5:47 pm

    The most cruel of sports, made to jump, If you could ask a horse that this race might kill him , what do you think he would say, not a humane way for horses to die.

  • Alan Fairhurst commented on April 9, 2016 at 5:48 pm

    It’s a no lose situation for the owners:
    If the horse wins, the owner gets a prize;
    The insurance pays out if the horse dies!
    Then the owner can buy a new horse to put in danger.
    It’s also a bent sport. Any one remember Lester Piggot on Manor Farm Boy some years ago? Remember what Bill O’Gorman said after the race?

  • Ashley Bambrough commented on April 9, 2016 at 6:01 pm

    Animals must be given more rights. We can’t keep treating them like our playthings. No creatures should lose their lives in the name of entertainment. There are plenty of other ways in which we can entertain ourselves. Life is not cheap!

  • Denise Scott commented on April 9, 2016 at 6:03 pm

    I really think the Grand National should be banned it’s all about money with no thought for the horses who must suffer and face death for what. It’s cruel.

  • Sharon Garlena commented on April 9, 2016 at 6:12 pm

    Shameful, disgraceful.

  • Bridget McBride commented on April 9, 2016 at 6:17 pm

    Human greed ,sickening

  • Paula commented on April 9, 2016 at 6:30 pm

    Jockeys have a choice to risk death…. Horses are forced into it!!! Ban this now!

  • Mary Murphy commented on April 9, 2016 at 6:33 pm

    I just cannot see the appeal of pushing horses beyond their limit and beating them to to spur them on to win for human cruelty satisfaction, and money. They can end up damaged,dead or abandoned. Disgusting. This abuse has been going on for far too long and needs to be properly addressed.

  • Inge de Stobbeleere commented on April 9, 2016 at 6:48 pm

    I thought all Brits were horse lovers. Sad to see money is more important than an animals life.

  • Caroline hope commented on April 9, 2016 at 6:52 pm

    I hate it can’t bear to watch knowing a poor horse will lose its life! Is there any grief for them or just a casualty of a cruel sport

  • elizabeth mcbride commented on April 9, 2016 at 6:57 pm

    Hi ban the race every year animals get killed I would ban it so they don t get kill it is are same stop them getting killed

  • Christine commented on April 9, 2016 at 7:26 pm

    I do not think enough people realize the consequences of the sport.

  • mary j jenkins commented on April 9, 2016 at 7:52 pm

    Looking at these wonderful horses pushed to breaking point makes me really angry and determined to sign and expose it ` its has to end or become more humane wish it was the rider who died, they at least have a choice the horse has none

    • mary j jenkins commented on May 10, 2016 at 10:47 am

      Yes totally agree its time for huge change its brutal horses forced to do harder and harder jumps

  • Nick Gribbin commented on April 9, 2016 at 8:30 pm

    Consistently year on year there are more horses killed at the Cheltenham festival, 7 this year, yet they receive no adverse publicity,. What makes them immune from critisism and Aintree gets slagged, incidentally four wax te total fatalities at Aintree this year, again less than Cheltenham. Be consistent with your campaigns.

    • Anne commented on April 11, 2016 at 11:18 am

      Hi Nick, PETA is vocal in opposing all racing events where animals die. Here’s what we wrote about Cheltenham this year: http://www.peta.org.uk/blog/terrifying-moment-govaness-takes-fatal-fall-cheltenham/

      • Nick Gribbin commented on April 11, 2016 at 6:44 pm

        My point is that every one of the critisisms are aimed at the Aintree meet. Aintree consistently receives banner headline comments over the deaths of the horses at the National festival whilst Cheltenham is rarely mentioned, ask any ordinary man in the street the number of fatalities at Cheltenham and they wouldn’t have a clue, is it a case of Cheltenham being down the south and Aintree being a northern event? All I am asking is that the poor horses that lose their lives at Cheltenham receive the same publicity.

  • Elaine hayes commented on April 9, 2016 at 8:45 pm

    This needs to be stoped

  • Laurel Hoare commented on April 9, 2016 at 8:53 pm

    Any way i can share Richard’s ‘death horse’ on fb? I am not on Twitter but this needs to be seen …

  • Edgar commented on April 9, 2016 at 9:02 pm

    I worry about all the other animals who are being needlessly hurt. Worms are being trampled, some slugs too. Also flies are being needlessly bashed by the horses hooves and things. It’s needless – a hedgehog was squashed last year, and some frogs too. My daughter loves frogs, she’s always playing with her frog ‘Frank’.

  • Martha Douglas commented on April 9, 2016 at 10:23 pm

    Absolute brutality. How can this be allowed to continue?

    • mary j jenkins commented on May 10, 2016 at 10:46 am

      Totally agree the is barbaric disgusted with Country to allow this to continue

  • SARA MCINTOSH commented on April 9, 2016 at 10:33 pm

    Its a disgrace

  • PEARL VEIKENS commented on April 9, 2016 at 11:44 pm

    why cant it be flat racing its not so dangerous all those jumps horses get tired

  • Heifara commented on April 9, 2016 at 11:55 pm

    Hypocrisy! As bad as the “foie Gras” but at least the French eat it. Those deaths are just entertainment and an excuse to wear silly hat.

  • JFraser commented on April 10, 2016 at 5:26 am

    stop buying your weekly chicken from the supermarket then. 16 wks of hell ends up on your plate.

    • Sharon N commented on May 9, 2016 at 9:52 pm

      All peta supporters are vegan or vegetarian.

  • Lynley Carmichael commented on April 10, 2016 at 7:51 am

    ….all in the name of big money and even bigger egos….

  • Mrs Ann Kerr commented on April 10, 2016 at 8:33 am

    I come from Liverpool but I don’t go to or bet on the National. But I’m not hypocritical, because I won’t go to other meetings / bet on other races either. You can’t ban the Grand National but allow other races to go ahead – what about the 7 horses that died at Cheltenham? Ban all race meetings, not just one! #bet they die

  • Wendy Higgins commented on April 10, 2016 at 8:58 am


  • lisa commented on April 10, 2016 at 10:09 am

    Dose any 1 have any morals alot ov people claim they are animal lovers but still bet on this disgustin sport,people who bet on it is as bad as the people who put there animals to there agonising death it’s a dam disgrace that the so called law condoles this sport,i understand that animals can have a acidents in other sports or while they turned out in a field that’s a chance we take but howay man pushin animals in a predicament where they have no choice in runnin in this race or any other race for that matter just for a couple ov pence ask yaself is this worth it for a animal to lose its life come on every 1 stop eggin these people on and put them out ov buiseness,i do feel that I’m wastin my breath and time cause there’s to many greedy b*****ds out there and a hell ov a lot ov people who just don’t give a dam god bless the horses wat died they in a better place and u never know them horses may have been relieved they have died so they can have a rest on that horsey rainbow bridge and get away from the cruelty they endure on the track,its totaly bull crap wen people say the horses enjoy it that’s the most stupid thing I’ve ever heard they are trained that way and with horses think humans luv them they do wat they told cause they think they goin to get tret rite but how rong they are bless them humans should start trustin and carin for them like the horses care and trust humans

  • JOAN FERRARA commented on April 10, 2016 at 12:00 pm


  • Laura tappenden commented on April 10, 2016 at 12:02 pm

    Please stop the races or make them less dangerous by not putting such high jumps and put less horses in the race for goodness sake

  • Anne Davis commented on April 10, 2016 at 1:03 pm

    Just a chance for the “toffs ” to don their designer garb and be “seen ” !! Making a few quid on the side is an added bonus for these idle rich morons ! Royals included obviously!
    Outrageous that this cruel event is still taking place in the 21st Century ! If it were a “working man’s ” sport it would’ve been banned long ago !

  • Michele commented on April 10, 2016 at 1:33 pm

    Time to stop, why as humans do we feel we have rights over animals lives. This race is all about money. If the racing community want to continue then at least make it safer for the horse. I will never bet on the Grand National

  • Jennifer Bachen commented on April 10, 2016 at 5:06 pm

    My big brother turned 18 and put his first ever bet on the grand national. His horse died. Ive never contemplated betting on it since. That was exactly 30 year ago. Will they ever learn

  • Robert Wiltshire commented on April 10, 2016 at 5:10 pm

    this is so cruel it planto see a dangerous race as all the deaths thathave taken place next time it can be ajockey and horse as we all know its money that keeps the race going i wont watch it even if u gave me money stick it where the sun dont shine

  • Juliet commented on April 10, 2016 at 6:54 pm

    I am a member of WWF and other animal charities, i have great concerns for animal welfare and neglect. The Grand National is one race. They have made great strides in making this race safer. Unfortunately there will be casualties which nobody wants but accidents will happen, whether it be jump or flat or any other equine sport. If you ban the Grand National then you have to ban racing. I would amagine that most would get the bullet if that happened tomorrow as re-training is not easy. Would a bullet for thousands of horses to ban racing be worth it? Or is that ok with you. Go after the real abusers, people who starve their horses, or a license needed to breed horses. So many abandoned. There is so much more to say. Give a balanced view instead of just one view.

    • Sharon N commented on May 9, 2016 at 9:55 pm

      The WWF actually supports animal culling for conservation, so if you support them, you are an abuser.

  • Christina Rix commented on April 11, 2016 at 12:15 am

    And it’s not just the foxes that suffer in this barbaric and needless sport either.

  • angela commented on April 11, 2016 at 8:45 am

    Please start a campaign to stop this race. We are meant to be a nation of animals lovers the Grand National is all about profit!! 4 horses died this time! And apparently a bullet to the head in acceptable if the beautiful animal is injured. If four jockeys died in this race there would be no question about if there should ever be a horse race again.

  • angela commented on April 11, 2016 at 8:50 am

    Please start a protest to ban the Grand National. Four died horses for the sake of a race,and no doubt profit and greed. If the horse is injured they shot it in the head!!! Not even a vet treatment attempt!! How many jockeys in the race would have to die before this this cruel race would be banned?

  • Angela Rolland commented on April 11, 2016 at 9:36 am

    I don’t watch any horse racing or bet on any races, no matter how big they are as I don’t agree with it. I have relatives who live in Liverpool, one time they came up to ours in Scotland and I vowed never to watch the Grand National again after seeing a horse fall and in the distance it still never got up that was about 20 years ago or something #YouBetTheyDie

  • NM commented on April 11, 2016 at 9:49 am

    I have always wondered if the number of riders killed equalled the number of horses killed… Would there be a change in the system???

  • Rheu commented on April 11, 2016 at 11:01 am

    Mongrels treating life like it’s worthless

  • Ethan commented on April 12, 2016 at 12:46 am

    The only way to solve this problem is to ban fence jumping not the racing as I believe horses lead a healthy and active lifestyle among the top class.

  • Rubbish Talker - Sonia Walker commented on April 12, 2016 at 1:54 pm

    Horses are such gentle animals, intelligent and beautiful. They are one of the best companions for children with autism. Their bone structure and muscles are the most complicated from all animals, including humans. I’m not entirely against racing, just not in such a cruel way – there is definitely no need to. But in a world when there still exists dog fighting and bull fighting, are we really surprised?

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