The Grand National: 8 Things They Don’t Tell You About Horse Racing

Posted by 1 year ago | Permalink | Comments (216)

Whatever the results of this year’s Grand National, there’s one thing that you can bet on with confidence – horses will suffer as a result of the unethical spectacle at Aintree.

PETA US has just made headlines with its searing undercover investigation into cruel and illegal industry practices among horse trainers in the US. But here in the UK, horses hardly face better odds. The following are a few home truths about horse racing, which make it clear that the Grand National and races like it are a national disgrace:

  • Horses die on the racetrack all the time. Eight horses have died at Aintree in the past two years. Four died at Cheltenham this year. Their deaths were traumatic and frightening, a stomach-churning mess of tangled limbs, fractured bones and broken spines.
  • Jockeys see horses as “replaceable”. Jockey Ruby Walsh caused a scandal with his comment on the death of Our Conor at Cheltenham: “You can replace a horse“. But his callous remark served only to highlight the widespread attitude within an industry that treats horses as commodities, not as sensitive, sentient animals.HORSE EYE
  • Horses are often on drugs. Drugs, both legal and illegal, are as ubiquitous at the racetrack as silly-looking hats are at Ascot. Horses are often drugged to mask their pain and keep them running when they should be resting or receiving treatment. Last year, trainer Mahmood al-Zarooni was banned from racing for eight years after he doped horses with prohibited steroids at one of the world’s leading racing operations. Billboard
  • Former race horses are “retired” to the slaughterhouse. According to Animal Aid, around 1,000 horses from the racing industry are killed in slaughterhouses in Britain every year, to be turned into dog food or horsemeat. Other horses may face horrific live export to Europe.Horsemeat

  • Aintree is one of the most deadly courses in the world. The infamous Becher’s Brook is known as the world’s most dangerous jump and has racked up many fatalities, yet authorities refuse to remove it. Racing 40 skittish horses at a time makes accidents still more likely, while the minor so-called “improvements” to the course are simply token gestures. It’s the very dangerousness of the race that draws in crowds and lines bookies’ pockets – while horses pay with their lives.Aintreenational
  • Horses are made to race when they’re too young. Making horses risk their lives on the racecourse is wrong at any age. But it’s especially heartbreaking to learn that these animals may begin to race when they’re barely more than babies and their bones are not up to the pounding and stress of the track. It’s hardly surprising, then, that injuries, lameness and exhaustion are common afflictions.HORSE
  • Horses are whipped to the finish line. To hurt an animal deliberately is illegal in most other circumstances, but riders at the Grand National are actually required  to carry whips – despite the RSPCA’s verdict that “[u]sing whips can cause pain and suffering to the horses” and often makes them run beyond their usual capability, increasing the likelihood of accidents. Frequently, jockeys violate  the already watered-down whipping regulations, which dictate how often and where they hit horses.Muybridge_horse_gallop_animated_2

*****

People who care about horses are turning their backs on the Grand National and every other race in which horses are being run to death.

This cruelty will end only when the public realises that there is no such thing as a “harmless flutter” when it comes to funding the cruel and exploitative horse-racing industry.

Please help spread the word about the cruelty of horse racing:

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Comments

  • tabelt commented on April 3, 2014 at 8:13 am

    But the horses do make some pretty fine glue and burgers when they’re done with them

    • Jackie commented on April 3, 2014 at 11:00 am

      Hopefully someone will glue ‘tabelts’ stupid!! mouth

    • Podge commented on April 3, 2014 at 4:39 pm

      As a comedian, tabelt, you make a very fine arsehole.

    • Fay commented on April 4, 2014 at 1:24 am

      Then enjoy licking the pretty fine glue and eating the burgers. for one day you will eat your words………and your mouth and brains will be stuck, so we don’t have to listen or read your crass, thoughtless and stupid remarks

    • Emma commented on April 4, 2014 at 7:52 am

      “Tabelt”…. Answer this. Why on earth is a complete moron, who sees fit to joke about such a serious matter, is even involved with a site that is purely against animal cruelty???

    • Louise Murray commented on April 4, 2014 at 9:40 am

      Tabelt, what a very sad and worthless chap you are that you need to make pointless comments like this. Please go and view other websites and stay away from Peta. Thank you.

    • jayne commented on April 5, 2014 at 9:12 am

      your sick!!

    • Anne commented on April 5, 2014 at 10:21 am

      Are you for real you stupid get

    • brooke commented on April 5, 2014 at 12:14 pm

      prick

    • Dave and Rita Cross commented on April 5, 2014 at 3:04 pm

      You really need our prayers! Without compassion or respect for animals, your life will never be what it could be!

    • Dan8720 commented on April 5, 2014 at 5:21 pm

      Not in very good taste but it was funny. Do you honestly think he means it! lighten up………

      • jacky commented on April 11, 2015 at 9:23 pm

        its not funny and how do we know if he meant it or not? Jokes are to be laughed at! comments like that don’t bode well with people that reeeealy care…………

    • Alex commented on April 5, 2014 at 9:18 pm

      What a complete arsehole, sick in the head

    • a sense of humor commented on April 5, 2014 at 9:44 pm

      Tablet I love you xD.

    • Polly commented on April 5, 2014 at 10:43 pm

      Big talk from a very little person shame on you.

    • Paula commented on April 6, 2014 at 5:57 am

      tabelt
      Such a PITTY you were not DONE WITH the day you were born. The world and ALL it’s BEAUTIFUL ANIMALS can do without ur type!!!!

    • mary joe moloney commented on April 11, 2015 at 2:33 pm

      people post this kind of comment to wind us up!! They are unevolved, disconnected, callous beings and the sense of humour shows this! I am sorry for the people around such individuals! We don’t have to respond in kind or we become like them!!

    • Chris commented on April 11, 2015 at 2:36 pm

      Those replying to Tabelt are just doing what the dick-head wants. Trolls only troll to get a reaction.
      If you just ignore them they’ll go away – and if they don’t then so what? It’s just nonsense designed to wind you up.

    • Merlina commented on April 11, 2015 at 10:06 pm

      I think maybe this is a case of ‘do not feed the Troll’ even though I’m also feeding him by commenting.

    • Gloria Heath commented on April 11, 2015 at 10:13 pm

      Stupid man karma will get you just wait and see !!!!!!!!!!

    • Raiven commented on April 11, 2015 at 10:43 pm

      Tabelt I often threaten my girlie with the glue factory or Tescos when she misbehaves. But only ever in fun. Which is how I hope your comment was intended :)

    • Esme commented on April 11, 2015 at 11:35 pm

      It’s very interesting to look at opinions regarding the ethics of racing and how racehorses are trained.I own an ex-racehorse who is an absolutely wonderful fellow,but who still has a variety of very minor behavioural issues which clearly relate to his early years experiences as a fledgling racehorse.He was 5 when I bought him,some 9 years ago. My feeling is that training of very young horses in a commercial environment does not lend itself to sensitive, individualised, appropriate nurturing and training.

    • Catherine commented on April 12, 2015 at 8:49 am

      Absolute rubbish, these horses are elite athletes and only the top horses can enter this race. They are better cared for than the lads that look after them. Fed up reading this sort of rubbish about horse racing. Try tackling real issues like the gypsy ponies that are tethered up on the road sides and left without food and water, many have starved to death this winter, just look at reports from Horse and Hound.

    • RedScorpio58 commented on April 12, 2015 at 12:12 pm

      Horses have been used down the years, would all you do-gooders have stood in front of the ‘Charge of the light brigade’ shouting “Stop this at once!” You just don’t like people disagreeing with your whining blogs. Tesco burger anyone?

    • Dickiemcspangle (Richard Chivers) commented on April 13, 2015 at 1:54 pm

      Ill informed shite. Drugged horses? They do dope testing all the time. Al-Zarooni got caught and banned. If they do it they get banned simple. Perhaps you should be dope tested.

  • heather horse-lover commented on April 3, 2014 at 10:33 am

    Please stop the barbaric practices. Sheer torture for such beautiful creatures. They deserve so much better than to be used for the gratification of humans!

    • Amy Suthern commented on April 9, 2015 at 4:55 pm

      Well said

    • Mike commented on April 11, 2015 at 2:46 pm

      Oh shut up. Horses can’t feel. I love betting on them a.d watching them run themselves into the ground. Love it more when they are killed afterwards for juicy burgers mwuahahaha

  • Jade Dennett commented on April 3, 2014 at 10:50 am

    Disgusting, I have never supported any kind of horse racing and I never will. Just another cruel blood sport for ignorant assholes to be on, who dont give a toss about the animals, just their winnings!

  • Vanessa frustaci commented on April 3, 2014 at 10:53 am

    This has to STOP

  • maureen martin commented on April 3, 2014 at 11:30 am

    This races as all are is dangerous snd cruel. Racing should b banned.

  • Carolynn Wentworth commented on April 3, 2014 at 12:24 pm

    I am at a loss for words that anyone can hurt animals and it’s allowed ?? I watched this race for the first time since arriving in England from Cape Town and couldn’t stop crying for days after seeing 2 beautiful horses die The one beautiful horse tried to run away before the race almost as if she knew what would happen to her. Shame on all those involved in hurting these magnificent animals.

    • tesco value burger commented on April 5, 2014 at 5:14 pm

      shame on all those, too that breed these monsters
      please come and liberate all us burgers from Tesco and Poundland

  • tina fieldhouse commented on April 3, 2014 at 1:17 pm

    this so wrong them poor horses suffer so much , please get this horse racing stop , and the cruel of it all

  • Debbie Shaw commented on April 3, 2014 at 3:05 pm

    The government should step in and ban it. It needs to stop.

  • Paula Scotcher-Lane commented on April 3, 2014 at 3:25 pm

    I used to follow horse racing until I got a bit wiser – thanks indeed to PETA. I am now quite horrified at the awfulness of it all but as long as there are rich and ignorant people involved the ‘sport’ will continue.

  • Diane Thibault commented on April 3, 2014 at 3:40 pm

    Please can you consider to stop training those beautiful horses in their young age and to hurt them with the whips if you love horses think twice about what you are doing to them. Do not think you would like to be treated the same way right?

  • Ali commented on April 3, 2014 at 4:01 pm

    After the Ruby Walsh comment there was a debate on Irish National radio about horse-racing. Unfortunately it seems that the general public are completely ignorant of the real truth about the cruelty of horse-racing and are of the opinion that race-horses are treated like kings! Any ‘sport’ that uses animals as a product and without genuine respect for their healthy and welfare should absolutely be banned, but with the majority of the people seeing horse-racing as a harmless bit of fun it will be very hard to do this.

    • Ginni commented on April 5, 2014 at 6:45 pm

      This is probably because a lot of people choose ignorance over knowledge Ali. It’s easier than facing the truth – such a sad world. It’s unfortunate, but those of us who really care and take time to learn the truth CAN make a difference – even if it’s just a little bit at a time. My heart breaks for these defenseless creatures. I agree with you that it should be banned.

    • car jack commented on April 13, 2015 at 1:30 am

      im sorry I can not not reply to all this, my daughter has worked with these horses on numerous racing yards and I can tell you that these horses are treated better than the riders that train them, they are very much loved and cared for by the grooms and riders and my daughter was very protective of all the horses under her care as was all the horses on the yards by all the staff, I don’t know where you lot get your info from but its not first hand from the yards as my information is, not once where these horses drugged to mask any pain so they could run, far from it, I take my hat off to these lads and lasses who work long hours six days a week, ten months with no time off till the season is over for no more than £3.00 an hour , and why do they do it, FOR THE LOVE THEY HAVE FOR THESE HORSES

  • Helen Murphy commented on April 3, 2014 at 4:22 pm

    Hello,

    People are work are running a sweepstake tomorrow, but I’d like to push for all those not wanting to take part to raise money for charity instead. Is there a charity which saves race horses from death? As I know they shoot a lot because they can’t be used for racing anymore.

    I’d appreciate your feedback and I’ll continue to do what I can to support your amazing work.

    • Anne commented on April 4, 2014 at 9:55 am

      Hi Helen,

      Thank you for your message, it’s wonderful that you are raising awareness among your colleagues about the cruelty of horse racing. So many people are simply not informed about this issue. There are a number of charities in the UK that work to rescue and rehome ex-racehorses – with a little bit of research, you might be able to find one that is perhaps local to your area to raise money for? I’m sure they will be very grateful for your support! Good luck!

  • Julie commented on April 3, 2014 at 4:51 pm

    I feel no sympathy when horses injure their riders I think the riders get what they deserve. Horses are beautiful and not made to race, only to be kept as pets.

    • Carrie commented on April 5, 2014 at 5:05 pm

      Not all working is cruel. I work for Riding for the Disabled where the weight a horse is allowed to carry is strictly limited (all of our current horses at my branch are 85kg-limited, potential riders weighing more than that are put on a waiting list just in case we get a horse capable of more), the workloads are carefully monitored so that no horse is over-worked, their diets are carefully monitored and assessed on a regular basis by a vet with equine expertise, and any sign of illness or injury is promptly responded to, with the horse being rested until they’re fit to return to work.

      Under these conditions, there is no problem with horses working. They give the riders major benefits, and the horses themselves get spoiled and showered with affection.

      Under the right conditions, non-pet horses can thrive. Racing, however, is a different kettle of fish. Unlike organisations that understand that the welfare of the animal is as important as the welfare of the riders, racing is all about the money.

      • taxitess commented on April 11, 2015 at 8:09 pm

        All horses, foals and ponies should roam FREE. They are beautiful creatures that man whip into shape to do as man pleases and it is wrong.

    • Carrie commented on April 5, 2014 at 5:07 pm

      Sorry, I made a mistake in my previous message (it’s 2:30am); the maximum weight of our horses is 85kg. Not all of the horses are allowed to carry that much. There is a pony and a smaller horse, and their weight limits are much less than that. I worded it wrong in my first reply.

    • Angela commented on April 12, 2015 at 5:41 pm

      Most horses would be very bored if kept as a pet. At the end of the day most horses love to gallop. Sadly the general public are very much misinformed when it comes to racing. If a horse really didn’t want to race it wouldn’t and some don’t. Google “Mad Moose”.

  • C Park commented on April 3, 2014 at 4:58 pm

    Racehorses would not even be foaled if there was no racing. Most get treated like royalty & have the best of everything. Yes it’s very sad when they lose their lives but it’s also very sad when cattle, pigs, sheep & poultry are kept in horrendous conditions & killed inhumanly just for us to eat! If you are vegan then good for you, you are the only people entitled to comment on here about cruelty to racehorses! I am not vegan btw.

    • Joel Thorpe commented on April 5, 2014 at 11:29 am

      Totally agree with this comment, too many people read an article and believe everything. As someone involved in the industry I know that these horses are pride and joy of not only the owners, but trainers too, they are treated better than some of you opinionated humans treat your own children.
      The horse are bred to race, its in their blood and they love every single minute of it, when we have the unfortunate situation when we lose a horse, it is not just a little “oh well”, the trainers/owners/jockeys and anyone who’s involved and loves the sport is absolutely devastated.
      As the poster said, if you eat any form of meat, then you have no right to an opinion on animal cruelty and should maybe look a little closer to home on the way the animals are treated before they enter your mouths, I for sure know I don’t eat horses

      • jo nicholson commented on April 12, 2015 at 5:35 pm

        joel I agree I used to work in the racing industry and its not all about money look at footballers paid epic amounts, their not deal with half a tonne of horse. its a sport they love it and quite rightly as you said they are treated well, unless you’ve ever dealt with horses in your life don’t comment as you really don’t know what your talking about, and these cranks think its cruel well funny that isn’t it considering they watched it! if a horse doesn’t want to jump it wont simple as.

    • Rachel commented on April 5, 2014 at 4:11 pm

      Hear, Hear! And before people say ‘that’s different, those animals are providing something etc’ bear in mind how big of an industry horse racing is and what it does for the UK economy.

    • Carrie commented on April 5, 2014 at 5:11 pm

      I’m curious, are you saying it’s okay to subject a horse to these conditions because they wouldn’t be born otherwise?

      There are changes that can be made to make racing safe for horses (beginning training a little older, when their bones are fully developed… changing obstacles to be less risky… banning the use of whips…).

      Most racehorses get treated like royalty… while they are winning and in the public eye.

    • caroline commented on April 5, 2014 at 7:42 pm

      I love animals but I do not think horse racing is cruel what so ever they love to run and jump they are amazing animals no one want to see horses killed but its something that they love to do dog fighting is cruel making bears dance on hot coal with rings in there nose clubbing baby seals to death fox hunting all these things are barbaric its great that they have made the race as safe as they can so these beautiful horses can all go on and lead a safe and happy life x

      • Dylan commented on April 10, 2015 at 6:41 pm

        If you think horse racing is not cruel whatsoever you need to read the following, this was one of the least distressing articles I found on the subject:

        “Nurse Mare Foals are, primarily, a creation of the horse breeding/race horse industry. An expensive mare is bred to a very expensive stud. Eleven months later she has her foal. Seven to ten days after she gives birth she comes into heat again. To remain profitable, she must be bred again, immediately, so that she can have another foal in eleven months.

        The mare’s seven to ten day-old foal cannot travel back to the stud/stallion’s farm with the broodmare, as travel is considered to be very risky for the newborn, valuable, foal… So they rent a mare from a nurse mare farm.

        In order for the nurse mare to come into milk, it must have given birth to a foal. The mare is bred and she gives birth to her foal. Once a request is received from the “expensive foal’s” farm, the mother is taken away from her own foal and shipped off to be a surrogate mother, to that expensive foal.

        What happens to the nurse mare’s foal?
        Some of them are clubbed over the head and killed immediately. Some are just left to starve to death. These foals are referred to as “by- products” of the nurse mare industry. Tragically, these foals – should they even survive – will never know the comfort of their mothers again… they will never get the chance to learn “how to be a horse” from her…”

    • Candace commented on April 6, 2014 at 6:36 am

      This is literally, one of the most silliest things I have heard. You cannot comment unless you’re vegan to say its cruel that they die during a sport humans created? Of course.. when animals die for human consumption, however this article isn’t talking about that. It’s also not talking about all the other animals that suffer, fighting dogs and bait dogs, puppy farmers, fox hunting, bear baiting, hunting for big cats to skin them, rhinos for their horns. Would you sit and critisize(sp) people for commenting because they have a dog from a breeder rather than a rescue shelter or an ivory key grand piano rather than a plastic electronic keyboard?
      Stop talking out of your arse and let people comment and express how they feel about what barbaric activities go on at the races that the television doesn’t show you.

    • Rachel commented on April 6, 2014 at 11:57 am

      So what exactly makes you so entitled?

      • Cat commented on April 11, 2015 at 10:01 pm

        Everyone is entitled to express an opinion and argue against others so don’t go asking her why she is entitled.

        I expect the horses are well treated (…while they are winning), I doubt they live in squalor, they’re washed and groomed etc. but none of that matters when these horses are FORCED to risk their lives for the entertainment of disgusting and immoral people. The race is barbaric. Horse may enjoy running, but not in these conditions. They are scared and beaten throughout the duration of the race.

        If these jockeys and owners actually cared about their horses, they would NEVER see them raced. The argument that they wouldn’t be alive if it wasn’t for horse racing is null and void. It’s probably better for these horses that they never were born – they’ve only been born for cruelty and cruelties sake alone. I can’t comprehend how anyone could possibly think the Grand National is ok.

    • Amy commented on April 12, 2015 at 11:45 am

      Horses born to race??? No life is better then one that is filled with cruelty, They would be better off not being bred at all if that is what they are going used for.

    • oggie commented on April 12, 2015 at 1:17 pm

      of what ive seen of racing i do belive horses enjoy running and jumping and of course when a horse is killed or injured then that is awfull but thankfully no horses while killed during the grand national yesterday but balthazar king was injured he is currently in the equine hospital in liverpool university i hope he makes a full recovery yes i agree that 2 year olds shoudnt be racing i think they are to young but i would say that 99% of owners trainers and jockeys care very much about there horses orelse they would have just put down balthazar king yesterday instead of sending him to the equine hospital at liverpool which i woudn t imagine is cheap and racing has reduced the sizes of the fences at aintree and reduced the numbers racing in the national but racing can not become conplasent and must strive to makereduce the risk to horses and jockeys alike intrestingly i would wonder how many horse lose there lives doing other equine sports polo showjumping excetara and you only have to watch the tv these days to see cases of horses being kept in horrendous conditions being starved to death no shelter no vetinary care not having thier diet looked after no grooming no footcare no love race horses are genrally looked after very well with the best vet care best living conditions best food the best of everything if i was to come back as a horse i know what i would wish for

  • Juliana Marques commented on April 3, 2014 at 6:06 pm

    Please, save our horses:
    https://www.facebook.com/sofrimentonao

  • Anne-Marie Littler commented on April 3, 2014 at 8:59 pm

    Why can’t we just cherish these graceful, beautiful, serene animals that just by their very nature be treated with respect and dignity – which in a way is how we expect to be treated by others. We’re all on the same planet, can’t we just live in harmony without abusing and exploiting every living beast. We call ourselves humane, but this sickens and saddens me to the core

  • gail commented on April 3, 2014 at 9:21 pm

    this is a cruel sport and by the sounds of it english cruelty with these races need to stop and also to stop exporting horses to the middle east where blind freddey knows they mistreat all animals
    The GOV needs to step in and stop this so called sport along with the other blood sports and could possibly start with the royal family
    The horses try their best and should not be subject to Aintrees horrific course and all horses should be drug tested by a reliable vet pre to any race in any country,prizes are high so those in charge could afford to pay for the fees and the vets should not be allowed to increase their costs
    Tabelt should have a saddle thrown over him/her and taken into the slaughter houses to watch and also look at his/her nationality for home grown cruelt

  • BEV commented on April 3, 2014 at 10:10 pm

    SOME ONE SHOULD DO THE SAME TO THEM THE SICK SOB

  • Nisheeth Proshanti commented on April 4, 2014 at 12:35 am

    Let’s bring our hands together to put a stop to this. And stop industrialization and abuse of animals. We as human beings are to protect them, not exploit them.

  • Sandy Shadwell commented on April 4, 2014 at 7:07 am

    Look at the card for one race day venue, multiply it by the number of races held elsewhere in the country and then ask “What happens to these horses when their career is over?”

  • Mrs.Lynn Elson commented on April 4, 2014 at 11:50 am

    Ban this cruel and barbaric “sport”. How would the jockeys like being whipped and made to jump over fences. I have no compassion for the jockeys only the horses.

  • TJ commented on April 4, 2014 at 12:13 pm

    tabelt is obviously a sick human being to be able to find humour in the suffering of his fellow creature(we are all animals). What denotes intelligence is the capability to experience compassion, statistics show that violent human behaviour is often preceded by a history of animal abuse. Therefore it saddens me to see the atrocities inflicted upon such beautiful creatures can be a source of humour to some sadly lacking humans. Thank you PETA for exposing this awful money making industry that calls itself a sport.

  • Gareth commented on April 4, 2014 at 2:22 pm

    Horse Racing must stop ! The only ones who benefit from it are the horse owners and jockeys who make a lot of money at the expense of the horses suffering . Horse are beautiful and intelligent creatures who have rights .

  • Deb Harcourt. commented on April 4, 2014 at 2:49 pm

    Yer another sick sport involving innocent animals.

  • Niki commented on April 4, 2014 at 9:41 pm

    Please do not attend races or bet on horses.
    Please encourage your friends and family to do the same.
    Please donate to animal groups like Peta who are exposing the truth.
    Please seek out cruelty and report it where you can.

  • Val commented on April 5, 2014 at 5:03 am

    Horse Racing is cruel. I can’t be bothered answering sick and cruel people.

  • dimitri commented on April 5, 2014 at 8:42 am

    het is doodzonder wat hun doen met die dieren

  • Ariadne commented on April 5, 2014 at 8:44 am

    Find it extremely confusing how anyone can see this as an entertaining sport and feel the need to spend money on this horrific trade. This sort of ‘sport’ needs to be banned immediately. It is a prime example of cruelty to animals and is being broadcast and celebrated all over the world. Hopefully in the very near fiture it will be banned but for now all we can do is pray for the horses safety who are forced to do this treacherous course today. :(

  • CAM commented on April 5, 2014 at 9:13 am

    The realities of any kind of competitive sport involving horses needs to be communicated through mass media so the general public can make informed decisions about what they watch or support. I would be interested to learn about Polo playing and what the ponies are subjected to, as well as more about horse racing.
    Information and choices are the key.

  • Sarah commented on April 5, 2014 at 9:15 am

    I wonder if the race would still be running all these yrs if the the tally of horse fatalities was jockeys???

  • pauline coombes commented on April 5, 2014 at 9:16 am

    Horse racing is not always very nice! Flat racing is by far the worst, dessage is cruel so is showjumping you could even say gymkanna’s are cruel , riding horses is cruel! so what happens then, we would not have any of these beautiful animals to see, as they are very expensive pets! Many ‘pet horses’ are left starving in their fields or stables and mistreated in many many ways. Maybe racing needs to help more horse charities and clean up its act. But banning it does not seem to me to help much. Or maybe we could just put the odd one in a zoo! to look at. I’m sure if you asked a horse it would rather just be left wild in a herd. But that’s not practical either. Should we just shoot the hundreds of thousands of horses we use for sport pleasure and work and ban all horse sports?

    • virginia baxter commented on April 11, 2015 at 9:25 pm

      I agree, however having seen the GN today the winner was in a dreatful state afterwards. Ive watched it for over 40 yesrs because I love horses and enjoy the sport. Human athletes push and push themselves and get injured, sometimes killed.

    • Raiven commented on April 11, 2015 at 10:41 pm

      Speaking as a horse owner and regular pleasure rider, Pauline I can see your point. However I think both you and many others here are missing an essential aspect of this argument: the difference between horse-racing as an industry and other types of competition.

      The horse-racing industry exists purely to make money. Horses are ridden at 2yrs then are lucky if they see a 5 or 6 year career. This is to maximise the return on financial investment.

      Other competition and pleasure horses are first ridden at 3, 4 or even 5 years. The best-cared-for can look forward to a 15-20 year career and probably comfy retirement. Yes, cruelty exists – as it does everywhere – but the *focus* of the sport is NOT to make money for bookies. It’s to develop and test a horse’s natural ability, and that of its human partner.

      You are exactly right when you say “they are very expensive pets”! Most of us don’t earn anything from our horses – indeed a lot of us work long hours in jobs we dislike just to pay for our habit. Paying for food and bedding etc for them is more important than our own.

      A horse serves little economic purpose in the modern world – they are no longer beasts of burden. But they do need the mental and physical stimulation that comes from exercise and schooling. Have you ever seen a horse locked up in a stable for 23 hours a day? Box-walking, weaving, crib-sucking, tail-rubbing… they get stressed and bored.

      I agree with you that banning horse sports will not help. We need better regulations: routine drug testing. A rule preventing riding until bones are fully hardened at 4 or 5 years. A maximum number of horses per race to prevent overcrowding. A ban on whips.

      Horses ARE built to run. In the wild this is a defence mechanism – they run from predators. They DO love to run – but only when they are happy and healthy – not when forced to by a predator sitting on them waving a whip!!!

  • Garry commented on April 5, 2014 at 9:17 am

    If you would like to try and save a horse please donate to our charity pastures new where we try and save racehorses and rehabilitate them for a better life …mainly to help in equine assisted therapy…the more money we raise the more we save
    Please help us help them

  • michele wilson commented on April 5, 2014 at 9:25 am

    you will never stop racing while you have people like the Queen of England support this with their own horses.

  • Miriam chidam commented on April 5, 2014 at 9:35 am

    Is there a petition we can sign ? Can someone please post a link here? Horse racing is a primitive and cruel injustice to the animals involved. It is heartbreaking that it is still condoned by our Australian laws.

  • Daniel commented on April 5, 2014 at 10:13 am

    This article is one of the most uneducated pieces of crap I’ve ever read and most people on here are jumping on a bandwagon with something they know absolutely nothing about!

    • Misa commented on April 9, 2015 at 8:05 pm

      It really is. I don’t like the Grand National, but most of these “facts” are complete hogwash.

  • shelley commented on April 5, 2014 at 10:54 am

    im glad both my boys made it off the track alive and to me, living a very happy life now, and have a home for life

  • Merill commented on April 5, 2014 at 11:10 am

    I neither agree or disagree to horse racing. And before everyone moans at me, ask yourself this. Do you own any leather? More than likely the answer is yes. Well a cow died for that. If racing was banned, you’d put people out of jobs. People who love horses and work with them for a living. So before shouting ban it, think of the wider picture…

  • Amanda Jackson commented on April 5, 2014 at 11:21 am

    Stop this barbaric race and others. To say they run because they like to, rubbish, its inbred to run with the pack. Would they like the prognosis, broken leg, bullet? They make me sick – murderers!

  • m rennie commented on April 5, 2014 at 12:15 pm

    Anybody who has worked or ridden horse knowes that the above is absolute fabrication and using singular facts to generalise about the sport. If the horses where drugged as mentioned they would be unable to run. They are prepared as any other athletes with rub downs etc which involves tintures and rubs. More horses are killed by neglect by their human owners than are ever killed in the racing world. As for turning them into dog/cat food those are usually domestic horses as race horse are put to stud or used to train young jockeys. Anyone who has ever worked with horses would know you would need a large violent man with a very heavy crop for the horse to even feel it. In fact if you pay attention today you will see most jockeys bring the crop forward, merely showing it to the horse. Yet again what Ruby Walsh’s said was not quoted in context.
    l support PETA but KNOW THE FACTS before you comment. Horse who fall are quickly assessed with
    dignity behind screens and are humanly treated and euthanized if that is what is unfortunately required.

    l remind you all a horse without a jockey and no crop will continue to run flat out to the finish. Not because they are pack animals or they don’t know any better ( which by the way does a great disservice to such intelligent animals) but because they like it.
    As a last word, if anybody doubts what l have said, just try and get a horse to do something it doesn’t want to do. If you’re successful you’ll be the first human in history to do so.
    Keep up the good work but please don’t debase your cause with convenient half truths.

    • esme commented on April 11, 2015 at 11:40 pm

      I think that you might find that some poor horses are bullied into submission,or sedated.Your view of training/educating horses is somewhat antiquarian I think

  • Paul commented on April 5, 2014 at 12:31 pm

    I used to live in Tattenham Corner where the derby is run and horses are trained on the gallops. I have seen so many skittish horses that i can honestly say THEY DONT LIKE RACING. So why not bann it as they did smoking in public?????????????

  • Sam smith commented on April 5, 2014 at 1:35 pm

    I honestly think that people who support and bet in the grand national know very well what is going on. They just choose to ignore it so they can continue with this barbaric ‘tradition’. Hope they enjoy spending their blood money!

  • Jay lad! commented on April 5, 2014 at 2:19 pm

    Anyone got any good tips for the national?

  • Suzie commented on April 5, 2014 at 3:15 pm

    As a daughter of a former jockey I know how well all race horses are treated and looked after, all decent trainers never give their horses any illegal drugs. It is a horses instinct to jumpm if it doesn’t want to you can’t make it jump.

  • Kathryn Disley commented on April 5, 2014 at 3:40 pm

    stop this Barbaric Race !!!……so outdated and so cruel to such magnificent creatures

  • Anne Archer commented on April 5, 2014 at 4:06 pm

    I am not a fan of horse racing or blood sports. I use to enjoy riding and looking after my pony, being around horses creates a peaceful atmosphere, but I would say that there is much more cruelty carried out by people who keep horses when they know nothing about keeping horses healthy and exercised. When hard times happen, these people take it upon themselves to abandon these loyal animals to forage for where they can. Horses are found all over Britain and Ireland in fields with very little grass and the horses literally starve to death. A field full of horses was discovered recently in Ireland and there were carcasses everywhere. It beggars belief that people take no responsibility for their animals, to them, they are a disposable object.

  • Gabrielle commented on April 5, 2014 at 4:24 pm

    Horse racing should be banned. It is barbaric and outdated. Racing so many horses at the same time will inevitably cause injury and death. It is true that owners only see horses as their bonus cheque and a commodity instead of the peaceful, loving animals that they are. I only ever went to one horse race and witnessed the horse I chose being shot for coming last with a limp. It traumatised me at the time and still does to think of it. A petition should be started PETA to ban horse racing.

  • Ergonspirit commented on April 5, 2014 at 4:25 pm

    Would just like to say I don’t necessarily agree with racing but not all horses are retired to the slaughterhouse my horse is an ex racer an there’s specific competitions for ex racehorses now and many have crazily lovely lives after racing my boy is living proof

  • Katy Kurle commented on April 5, 2014 at 5:09 pm

    I don’t think the race should be banned at all, all horses are bred for this purpose and jockeys take their life in their hands whenever they mount a horse for any race. I don’t believe in drugging horses for them to perform better. But if u look at any horse while it’s in a race u can tell they are having the time of their life. Ears pricked, head all alert. Not all horses go to very slaughtered that’s completely wrong, some horses retire to homes,

  • vicki commented on April 5, 2014 at 6:26 pm

    I worked in racing for many yeas and our horses were treated like royalty. There is govement legistations on whips so they dont hurt the animals! They kick each other for christs sake trust me that hurts more and at the end of the day….. these half ton animals if they dont wanna race they wont (like no 15 in todays race) we as people can not push them to do anything if the horses dont want to! As for all race horses are drugged quote…… bollox! Have you never had a pain killer after leg day at the gym :-/

  • tracy pedder commented on April 5, 2014 at 6:35 pm

    Horses are majestic beautiful creatures but are unfortunately exploited by the racing industry beyond all limitations in order to satisfy human greed.

  • Janette King commented on April 5, 2014 at 7:18 pm

    TBs are bred to run, otherwise they would not exist. These horses are actually much loved by their hardworking grooms. Yes some die, but horses can die anywhere any time! There are thousands of people that work with Tbs, and thousands more that work in or around racing. Whilst horses are in racing they are much cared for. So please, before we start throwing sentences around, please lets look a little closer at what is involved.

    • Chemim commented on July 3, 2014 at 11:33 pm

      If so called grooms and breeders love these beautiful creatures, and by your account are much cared for, then why are drugged, allowed to race when in pain, whipped so badly just to win, is that what you call caring? Your world is a very sick world. If I was to see a horse in an accident I would go to the aid of the horse and let the human suffer.

      I know this horrible sport keeps many people in work, but what a price this poor animal has to pay.

  • Jonathan Spon commented on April 5, 2014 at 7:40 pm

    Ok so how may of the people commenting on this are vegan? Have you ever sat on the back of the horse and known the feeling that it is to have communication between man and animal… The joy that a horse feels to be connected with you and I have had the honour to have had a few horses in my life. I have show jumped, I have done dressage I have done cross country and I have done steeplechase – and my first and foremost thought has always been for my horse. You cannot possibly comment if you do not know horses!

  • A Burns commented on April 5, 2014 at 8:17 pm

    Not to take anything away from what you are saying here but this picture isn’t the Aintree racecourse track for the Grand National. It’s the old Aintree motor racing track.
    Having a mistake like this just helps the supporters of these things as they can claim you are incorrect.

    • Anne commented on April 6, 2014 at 3:07 pm

      Thanks for spotting this – we’ve swapped the pic now.

  • Leyther AJ commented on April 5, 2014 at 8:47 pm

    I get that some horses die but have PETA looked at the overall statistics of the race or have they chosen to single out years that have had higher rates of death. I don’t agree that horses should die for a sport but as with things it’s about money I for one would like to see the number of horses run over the races entirety against the number of deaths. Does this compare to other sports that have animals involved. I am an animal lover and agree no animals should be harmed but as a percentage against other animals in other sports how does it stand?

  • anna commented on April 5, 2014 at 8:54 pm

    hi I love horses born and bred from heavy horses to eventers and I had a x racer she had been racest sev wins then hurt her knees in a fall she was then sent to kill and I got her for £250 pounds she was a long back black mare very beautiful girl. she loved to run . I miss my horses very much I don’t have one at min but I would love one if someone is in leek or near let me know I would love to ride again good race today no horses was hurt I never bet any more .

  • anna commented on April 5, 2014 at 9:01 pm

    what people must think if having a horse 1 buying or rent of field can I afford it .2 the food supply . 3 the tack .4 looking after it every day all year around .5 time to ride 6 not selling it cause having a baby if farmers did that every time they had a family member there would be no farms im born and bred on farm never did me any arm over the years

    • Grammar commented on April 6, 2014 at 3:45 pm

      Punctuation.

  • Rachel Bideau commented on April 5, 2014 at 9:13 pm

    There is so many horses cruelly treated because they cost too much I went to a horse auction and they couldn’t give them away not many people have the funds to look after such a large animal so horse racing is the only way to make any type of money back therefore most race horses are treat better than normal horses , and before anybody says how can you be so cruel im not necessary saying horse racing is a good thing. It just annoys me how people can be disgusted about horses being sent to slaughter when theres millions of sheep, cows and pigs going to slaughter to feed everyone! And being a farmers daughter I know these animals are as sensitive and intelligent as horses so why do we make exceptions to horses???? Btw I love horses too just saying whats the difference?

    • LINDA commented on May 23, 2014 at 9:16 pm

      I CAN TELL YOU WHAT THE DIFFERENCE IS COWS, PIG, SHEEPS, ARE RASIE TO FEED THE PUBLIC THESE HORSE ARE RAISE TO RACE AND WHEN THEY CAN’T RUN ANY MORE THEY GIVE THEM SOME KIND OF SHOT AND THEY DIE A HORABLE WAY I WILL NEVER GO TO THE HORSE RACES AGAIN UNTIL SOME KIND OF DRUG TESTING OF THESE WONDERFUL ANIMEAL WHAT THEY DO NOW IS JUST NOT RIGHT !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • Erika Carter commented on June 22, 2014 at 6:35 pm

      Horses are livestock look up some huge crippled halter horses and tell me they aren’t good for anything else… the horse world is greedy but so is the entire world it’s a messed up place. If you have horses or want them then yes love them care for them do good by them. we will never be able to save them all when we can’t even save ourselves.

  • Julie Black commented on April 5, 2014 at 10:06 pm

    it is sad yet sgain that a noble loyal animsl is suffering at the hands of humankind, masked behind the word Sport! Just to line people’s pockets!

  • Liz macphee commented on April 5, 2014 at 11:15 pm

    Enough …please start to respect the horse that has fraught wars…brought beer and milk to your door…reaped harvests and been inspirational in the war…arrggg

  • sky commented on April 5, 2014 at 11:29 pm

    How many of you people actually know about horse racing may I ask, outside of what you see on TV and in newspaper articles? Have many of you been on a racing yard?

    Yes some people do treat their horses badly but for every one badly treated horse you have a handful of horses that ARE treated like kings. Its not the Sport that is evil its a small proportion of people after money that are the problem. Many owners buy racehorses when they don’t know what they are doing, don’t have a clue about a thoroughbred in general and just want the money they expect to be linked to a racehorse.
    I have known jockeys that have cried after a horse they where riding had to be put down on the course. The majority of these horses are bred to race and love it. For those of you saying it is unnatural to put a horse in a filed of however many horses and let them run, WAKE UP, horses are HERD animals. they have evolved to run in herds, it is not unnatural but is instead playing on their own natural instincts.

    And as for all these ‘do good’ charities, they may have the best of intentions but how many know anything about horses let alone racing. Anyone that has ever ridden a horse at any jump should know that if you shorten a distance and lower a jump then the horse is encouraged to go faster, which causes more accidents because there is nothing there to make them slow down and sit up an think before barreling over the jump.

    So how about instead off all bawling on about banning racing how about banning the owners that don’t know what there doing and making sure that all these trainers have the right to stand up to owners and say no to a horse racing instead of being left with no choice.

  • Katherine commented on April 5, 2014 at 11:38 pm

    Yep. Let’s ban horse racing and every single one of them will be put down as you will have rendered them utterly useless. Let’s stop eating meat too and all the cows, pigs, sheep and chickens will also be useless and will be slaughtered. Anyone want a cow on their sofa as a pet just because they’re cute? Didn’t think so. Anyone think they can give a thoroughbred a good life in a field as a “pet”? These animals are born to run and they bloody love it.

    • Diana commented on April 6, 2014 at 5:18 pm

      Totally agree with you. This article is a load of absolute rubbish. Yes some race horses probably are treated badly, just like some humans and other animals are, most however live the life of kings and are loved by the owners and jockeys. Horses are pack animals who love to run.

    • natalie p commented on April 6, 2014 at 9:56 pm

      horses aren’t meant to be beaten to death are they? well thats what the grand national is, its not grand at all, its disgraceful of this country to still be holding it, its out dated. People mistake their love of money for a love of equines but its not the animal they care about, its lining their own pockets. How can people place money down for a bet to support animal cruelty, beating, abuse and death?

    • Phaedra commented on August 14, 2014 at 8:04 am

      Natalie p, the people who argue your point only have a few points, most of which are irrelevant or just plain wrong. When you use a ‘whip’ on a horse, it is only to reinforce the leg aids. Anyone who does not ride horses does not understand the use of artificial aids. They are used in all equine sports – to no worse affect.

      • Horse Owner commented on April 15, 2015 at 10:11 pm

        Phaedra – I am a horse owner and as an accomplished rider I certainly do not require the use of a whip, because I know how to use leg aids and I KNOW HOW TO RIDE A HORSE. If you need a whip or crop, you don’t know how to ride correctly or you are trying to physically bully an animal into completing a task it does not wish to complete.

  • Tony commented on April 6, 2014 at 12:42 am

    Absolutely disgusting. Horse racing should be banned. This cruelty must not be allowed to continue.

  • Phil Chilvers commented on April 6, 2014 at 3:30 am

    It has been a tradition in my family to put a bet on horses running in The Grand National for as long as I can remember. My first name Philip which is a Greek name meaning “fond of” or “lover of” horses. I had bet on three individual horses in The Grand National today. Two crossed the line safely but one fell, I did not know that it was a horse that I had gambled money on to win, but it was the first time that I was truly upset, winced and thought “this is WRONG!”. The other thing that I noticed was the stable hands throwing buckets of water over the winning horse to bring its body temperature down. I don’t own a horse but if I did I would not put it through that type of experience which will be utterly distressing for the animal. Next year I will keep the money in my bank account or even better give it to some sort of horse charity. There has to be one somewhere in England. My country is supposed to be a nation of “animal lovers”! Is it really worth risking the health and lives of these horses and jockeys for a few minutes of “entertainment”?!!!

    • Julia commented on April 7, 2014 at 7:34 pm

      Commendable x

    • Bob commented on April 18, 2014 at 5:48 pm

      What you don’t realise is that cold buckets of water has been proven to help cool the horse down and prevent injuries, it is the same principle as a footballer and rugby player having and ice bath!!

    • Lisa Bell commented on April 12, 2015 at 7:28 am

      Good for you Phil Chilvers, its attitudes like yours that make a difference. What struck me about the horse that won is this, if the grooms had not thrown water over him and harassed him to stay on his feet he would have collapsed, he was so close to dying and most wouldnt have realized this.
      I am not being hysterical here, this is a fact. I have worked in the horse industry and kept horses all my working life.
      Now how would that have looked on TV, the winner collapsing and dying, amidst all the glory, very bad veiwing? They really didnt want that to happen.

  • Rachel commented on April 6, 2014 at 7:49 am

    Racing unfortunately wont be stopped until a jocky is killed, seems to be that their life is more important than a horses!! Which is a load of rubbish. Every animal deserves the right to a nice life not being wipped.

    • Fizz commented on April 12, 2015 at 12:23 pm

      Jockys have died already and been disabled, try some more research and see what that turns up!

  • Chez commented on April 6, 2014 at 8:04 am

    To be honest most race horses are looked after well a fine diet and lots of excercises and well groomed..but yes I agree the grand national is the harshest race with high fences and lots of horses falling ..:(

  • Richard commented on April 6, 2014 at 8:17 am

    Most of this is not true. We have had Mandy retired race horses on our stable yard That do not get killed for meat! & they do not whip the horse, they hit their riding boot & it’s the sound that makes the horse go faster.
    & maybe some of it is about money. But why do u go to work everyday. Coz you like your job!, or u like your boss?. NO. you go for the money.!!
    Why doesn’t everyone get all the facts before commenting.

    • Julia commented on April 7, 2014 at 7:32 pm

      We go to work to earn money to struggle to pay the bills – we don’t go there to win money!! & we don’t all love our jobs!! (My job is making me ill so I’m off)
      However, it’s good you rehome retired race horses. But not all owners treat their ‘property’ with care, & horse racing is a sport, horses love running but they shouldn’t be pushed so hard in a dangerous course that it is detrimental to them, & in some cases kill them, just so people can make money – after all, that is the main goal; making money, not making horses happy!

  • Tulin commented on April 6, 2014 at 9:16 am

    This is a rich man game mainly.its cruel and horrible,am lost for words how these horse get treated just for money.it should be stopped.hiw will that happen?its always the horses that suffer.and slaughter and god no what else.someone or some how ths horse racing should be stopped.!!!

  • Ivetogen commented on April 6, 2014 at 9:54 am

    This article is bull shit.
    The horses aren’t on drugs to mask their pain- because they’re tested for corticosteroids.
    They aren’t whipped to the end- do you see their bleeding flanks? Look at the winner of the grand national, his whip did not touch his horse!

    Horses do die, which makes it a risky sport like eventing. But in order to do well you need a horse who loves to race and wants to win. When people fall off usually their horses keep going, these horses love it.

    And to say they do it for the money is an ignorant, poorly researched comment.
    Did you know that when the owner has a horse in training they will the majority of the time lose money. That is why it is classed as a hobby and non-taxable. These owners might be rich, but they certainly aren’t racing these horses just for the money.

    All sports involving animals will come across criticism and I think it is good for the public to know the true facts. But this article is rubbish.

  • CH commented on April 6, 2014 at 10:03 am

    But what about the horses who clearly enjoy racing? They love it just like an Olympic athlete loves what they do. Sure, there are dangers. But there are dangers in every sport. Just remember that these animals are treated extremely well in their stables because, as we know, a happy sportsman is a successful sportsman.

    Of course this Peta piece is biased, though.

    Just remember, horses that don’t want to race; don’t race. They refuse to even start. And that is perfectly fine because everyone involved understands the psychology of these animals.

  • WESH commented on April 6, 2014 at 10:58 am

    You all act like horses are people, yes the treatment is bad but of course animals will be abused, they always have been. Humans abuse humans and as long as that exists, you’re not going to change a thing. Why? because there’s always new ways and schemes to cover up and torture the precious animals you love so much. That’s life, get used to it.

  • ilove horse racing commented on April 6, 2014 at 11:15 am

    its articles like this that make me mad I wonder how many of you actually know one end of a horse from another the fact is that national hunt horses race at a much older age and not as two and three year olds being a stable hand my self I can only say that yes I do love horses and I also love to see them run they are born athletes I take pride in making sure that they are comfortable and well looked after if horse racing got banned which it wont I would not only loose my job but my lively hood its only in America that they are aloud to use drugs on the horses over here the horses are blood tested we are the only country as well as Ireland to not use drugs on horses I would also like to point out that retired racehorses don’t all get sent to the slaughter house a good percentage of them become either brood mares or will go to a re training center and get rehomed please don’t be so closed minded and only listen to one side of the story take my point of view and then consider both sides also bear in mind that peta are against horse racing but none actually know the whole truth and publish silly articles like this its ridiculous thanks

  • V commented on April 6, 2014 at 11:51 am

    What absurd comments. Everyone involved in the production of these animals – jockeys, trainers, grooms – loves these animals. You simply could not do the job unless you did. Most of these yards treat the horses like absolute royalty. They want for nothing and get the very best of everything. I am speaking as a vet who spends time at these yards and actually works within the industry, as opposed to someone who’s been brainwashed by whatever radical nonsense they’ve read online. Saying that horses are only “made to be kept as pets” is simply ridiculous. Do you disagree with all sports that may cause injury to horses? What about eventing, dressage, show jumping? These horses have been bred for generations for these purposes and absolutely love their jobs. Speaking as someone who rides, you cannot force a 500Kg horse full of adrenaline to do anything it does not want to!

    More over, the amount of funding that bodies such as the HBLB put into equine medicine is huge. So much research into improving the health and welfare of ALL horses, not just racehorses, is funded by the industry. The positive impact this has on all equids is simply enormous.

    If you really cared about equine welfare, then you would work WITH the industry, rather than trying to work against it.

  • Val commented on April 6, 2014 at 12:21 pm

    Been saying all my life the grand national is wrong! Jumps are too high. Beautiful horses are killed every year. Should be made safe or not at all.

  • SaintPeta commented on April 6, 2014 at 12:23 pm

    If racing didn’t exist, then these horses would never have been bred. If you ban racing horses, there is no reason to breed those horses, and so those animals wouldn’t exist at all. Therefore Peta is suggesting that it is better to have never existed than to have a risky life (albeit a mostly fairly pampered and well fed risky life).

    It seems pretty distasteful to rob any creature of a chance at existence simply because you disagree with it doing things in which it ‘could’ get injured, hurt or die. This isn’t like bullfighting where they are intended to die. Those creatures in the wild would be risking life and limb every day too, and they wouldn’t being fed or kept warm.

  • J commented on April 6, 2014 at 12:40 pm

    This organisation is very one sided (PETA)
    The so called USA drugs scandal only portrayed what PETA wanted people to see and has been widely scrutinised as not giving all the facts. Horses here in the uk are well treated and loved by those that have anything to do with them. Here are some facts for all you that say its barbaric but with no evidence to prove it of which PETA is the worst culprit Bourne out of a personal vendetta that plays on people’s emotions without giving them the REAL truth.

    Horses get the best of care, diet and safe place to exercise
    Grooms spend the majority of their day with these horses
    Horses get their own personal groom to care for them and create a close loving bond
    Anyone that says the whip is cruel go and buy a race whip and hit yourself
    It’s specifically designed not to hurt unless used incorrectly
    Horses in general love what they do. Believe me if a horse did not want to race or jump it damn well won’t ( as most equestrians posting on here will know)
    Anyone that says the owners are only in it for the money does make me laugh, it’s costs on average £250 p/w to have a horse in training, £400 to transport it to the races, £350 for jockey and race entry and admin fees, £100 for grooms overtime.
    Most races have a average prize of £2000 to the winner.

    Horses have been purposely bred for racing over hundreds of years.
    If racing was to be banned over 2,000,000 people in the uk alone would be made unemployed and that’s without mentioning the high st bookmakers staff
    Then there’s the big one, what do you think would happen to all the 100,000+ thoroughbreds in the uk if racing was banned

    Yes horses end up in dog food but not all. Racehorses are not for novice riders. Whilst most horses will be rehomed when their racing days are over some are inevitably put to sleep as they are too dangerous to be rehomed as riding horses, but only after every effort has been made to find it a home.

    One thing I would like to say is this, I urge PETA to get all their facts correct instead of publishing what they THINK to be true
    And to all you out there with a misguided opinion of racing, go spend a day at a race yard to see the love and care these horses get everyday

    PETA is a disgruntled and misinforming organisation who love publicity and do so for their own gain

    The racing industry gives more to charitable foundations than most industries, but PETA don’t like to give the real truth about racing do you don’t hear that either

    Rant over

  • ricardo cattani commented on April 6, 2014 at 1:34 pm

    Animal is not a toy!

  • Rose commented on April 6, 2014 at 1:38 pm

    I am very much against horse racing but could I just say, regarding whips; racing whips are made from foam like material covered in thin leather. Its the noise the leather makes that makes them run faster. Just as the sound from the lather on a crop is the sign for a horse to go forward in everyday riding. It’s more likely for a Cross Country, Dressage or Show Jumping rider to hurt their horse than a jockey. When used properly by the rider, a whip will not cause any pain to a horse.

  • Pam commented on April 6, 2014 at 3:14 pm

    Used and abused…we frown upon the barbaric practices of the Spanish and their cruel disrespect of animals i.e. Bull Fights and throwing live goats from high buildings as an Attraktion. Horse racing causes the same kind of suffering and that in a country of supposedly civilised animal lovers.
    We should all take responsibility and not support these sports in any way.

  • Beatrice Merker commented on April 6, 2014 at 4:36 pm

    Bitte hilft den armen Tieren!!!

  • b commented on April 6, 2014 at 5:19 pm

    There are horses DYING in people’s back yards! Emaciated mares popping out foal after foal, with no concern for welfare or what might happen to them, horses that you see all around that are being neglected daily. the racehorses you see running today have the best care going, the highest quality veterinary care, the best farriery, nutritionists and the top quality food, the best tack specialy fitted to each of them, physio therapists, personal grooms, they have the most amazing facilities and the best trainers and riders around, they are up there with the eventers, the dressage horses, the elite show jumpers ( no moaning with them…) Whilst you all scream blood sport at your tvs turn your thoughts to the thousands and thousands of ponies that have no shelter, no vet care, no farrier has ever been so they are crippled lame, no dentist has seen their teeth so they couldn’t eat even if there was hay there for them ( which there hardly ever is) get on your soap box where it might actually make a difference and where the real cruelty and neglect lives. These animals live like kings for their profession, there are many many much less lucky animals that deserve your pity and outrage far more.

  • Frances Spencer commented on April 6, 2014 at 5:21 pm

    To PETA
    You makes some disturbing points. I, and many others I expect,would like to know more detail. So please can you quote your sources for each of the 8 issues you have outlined above.
    It’s important to be as fully informed as is possible of all views before making a decision about how to go forward and who to give support to.

  • Hayley commented on April 6, 2014 at 6:57 pm

    Yes a lot of horses die at this ground but they are bred to do it and love it!! They have improved the track to prevent deaths and alot of these statements above are now untrue!! I love horses and had an ex racehorse as do a lot of people! ! I think this is unfair!!

  • Roy Stockdill commented on April 6, 2014 at 7:08 pm

    So the Grand National is over for another year and, despite a chaotic start, it turned out to be a very exciting race with a fairy tale winner, a horse trained and part-owned by a retired GP who only trains for a hobby. Though I didn’t even have a bet I watched the whole of Channel 4’s coverage fronted by Clare Balding and it was apparent that many thousands of people (probably the equal of a Cup Final Crowd) were having a great day out, the vast majority not wealthy owners and toffs but working class and middle class lads and girls. This, of course, is what the ban-the-National brigade cannot bear, i.e. vast numbers of people actually enjoying themselves! Anyone who wasn’t moved by the shots of the winning horse, Pineau De Re, being led in by that stable lass with a positive explosion of joy, exhilaration and sheer delight on her face must have had a heart of flint. Actually, I didn’t even notice that one, more’s the pity, because any nag named after a wine would have had my vote! No horses were killed during the Aintree meeting, so hopefully, the po-faced, politically correct, sanctimonious, self-righteous little zealots and fanatics who want to ban horse racing will shut up and go away for another year. Sorry to sound off, but I really do get fed up of these pompous little nobodies puffed up with their own self importance and moralising zeal, whose sole purpose in life appears to be to stop people from enjoying themselves! The racing industry is a major employer, providing many, many thousands of jobs in stables, on the racecourses and in hundreds of betting shops around the country. The vast majority again are ordinary people like stable lads and girls who get up at some unearthly hour of the morning to feed the horses, swill them down and muck out the stables, usually for meagre wages, because they love the animals far more than the banning brigade. What right do these arrogant puritans have to try and ban thousands of people from earning their livelihoods, moreover what right do they have to try and stop many thousands more from enjoying a day at the races with their moralising, self righteous claptrap? Rant over!

    • Scott commented on April 7, 2014 at 8:41 pm

      Having no deaths this year seems to make a lot of people proud. It is only a matter of time until more horses die.
      Forget about tour personal enjoyment, forget about your money, just imagine what it is like to have absolutely no choice and being whipped constantly.
      Anyone with half a heart will feel sorry for the poor things. If the whips don’t hurt them then how come they react to the pain!
      STOP THIS CRUELTY!

    • Eilidh commented on July 18, 2014 at 9:51 pm

      Tbh they dot whip them just make a sound with there whip they dont actually whip them ok PETA. Horse racing is not cruel at all the they get state of the ark equipment, facilities, veterinary services, feed, they get their own stable rugs, they get exercised everyday and they get a spell every few months.

  • John Fraser commented on April 6, 2014 at 8:51 pm

    Why ruin your case with what appears to be a doctored map of aintree. HHalf those tight bends dont even exist .. youve even got the direction clockwise instead of anti clockwise . Where did you get that map from ?

    • John Fraser commented on April 7, 2014 at 8:36 pm

      Shouldn’t really reply to my own posts but welll done at least for listening and replacing the course map with a proper Aintree one .

  • katie commented on April 6, 2014 at 9:17 pm

    Some of the comnents on this post are absolutly ridiculous and made by people who obviously have no clue about racing what so ever!! If the horse didnt want to run it wouldnt as proved yesterday… yes horses fall and yes they do die but its only because of the high profile nature of the sport and that particular race that people kick up such a fuss!! Horses die as a result of xc and hunting falls yet we never hear about any of that because it isnt splashed all over the media as they arent high profile!! If racing is cruel then we need to ban all equestrian sports!! Horses naturally run they dont jump ridiculous heights and perform movements that put all their structures under extreme pressure!! This sport is part of our history and so it will remain!!
    Horses die everyday and people are injured as well its all part of the risk of taking part in the sport

  • victoria commented on April 6, 2014 at 11:44 pm

    OR; you stop horse racing and horse breeding is reduced due to lack of demand (in that particular area) I.e supply and demand. Are you aware that not every other creature is put on this planet to either entertain or feed humans? Or more precisely, that we can live very well without using them for either of these things? Animals exist outside of farms/breeding grounds very well without human interference so the idea you have that animals are either pets or food is ill informed one.

  • Shalena mccarron commented on April 7, 2014 at 7:31 am

    I will still continue to back horse racing and always will. I have an ex race horse and knowing his past I still would support horse racing. Horses are drug tested so moany of the drugged ones get caught! All the horses in the grand national survived this year! And I have watched many races where the jockeys do not use a whip. Also that statement about ruby Walsh he didn’t mean it in that way! He was comparing it to a death of a human! Read the telegraphs article! The only thing that needs to change about horse racing is the way bad race horses are kept! Some are kept in luxury and some aren’t! Giants causeway his home is amazing! A place where only horses could dream! Yeah he won his owners lots of money but they pay for an amazing home for him!

  • Kathryn Erskine commented on April 7, 2014 at 10:46 pm

    It is HIGH time this human ignorance was stopped once and for all. Close down the betting shops and outlaw horse and dog racing for ever!!!

  • J commented on April 8, 2014 at 5:08 pm

    What a load of sensationalist, anthropomorpholistic bollocks.

  • Rachel commented on April 11, 2014 at 8:33 am

    I feel so sorry for all these horses and I can’t even watch horseracing without crying.I have written to horseracing companies but they just say the animals love it which is a lie.PETA I love horses and it is unbearable for this to happen to them.

  • Kendra commented on April 13, 2014 at 3:26 pm

    I would like to say; being an owner of 4 beautiful race horses that unfortunately many are sacrificed to slaughterhouses. But I strongly disagree that horses are trained too early in their lives. It’s easier too teach a horse when they’re young and it’s surprisingly not that hard of a process. Of course a horse is not going to like the taste of a bit first time but they’re still strong enough to drag 2 full grown men on a cart behind them. Just because they are race horse doesn’t mean they’re unhappy. They were bred to run & jump, they love it. I do agree that there should be some boundaries to pushing your horse but they still get to live normal, happy lives just like any other horse.

  • Samantha commented on April 15, 2014 at 4:21 am

    I noticed that a number of remarks on this board are unintelligible but clearly very defensive. I am pleased to report as a result of supply and demand that the popularity of horse racing is waning. If breeders would get out of the way, fewer horses would not go to slaughter. There are responsible breeders but too many use slaughter for the horses they cannot sell or are no longer useful to them.

  • Alli commented on July 2, 2014 at 3:40 am

    I think you guys need to look at the bright side of things more often. Yes, make your statement, but PETA is very stereotypical to those who aren’t vegan, vegetarian, horse racing haters, etc. We really aren’t bad people. Give some good examples of good care and real love instead of the ugly side of things. Make your statement, give a counterclaim, be done.

  • Jim Reid commented on July 20, 2014 at 12:46 am

    I do not like nor appreciate any treatment of animals in the name of gambling nor destructive activities. I certainly do not accept the motion that those who own and groom their beasts for events don’t care or love them…I have been around both for a long time.
    I also do not accept the claims of organisations that condemn others when theyakecfactual mistakes to push their case…in fact I only condemn the human element on both sides of this sensitive subject for their inability to take the effort to sit and discuss and reach a conclusion acceptable for all three participants…….but the biggest gamble,hurdle and obstruction is our silly human instinct.

  • Dave commented on July 21, 2014 at 9:14 pm

    This article is too unbalanced. Have you ever seen a horse winning strutting their stuff. They know what is going on. Trust me, if a horse doesn’t want to race, it wont, they will flat out refuse. as an example it happened this year at the Grand National, Battle Group wouldn’t budge, not an inch. There are bad horse owners, yes, but there are bad dog owners, bad parents etc. No deaths 2 years in a row, fences have been lowered, safety is priority, so no it isn’t outdated, it very much in date. In regards to someone saying it wont be stopped till a jockey is killed, its pretty easy to search online the many deaths (recently as well) that have happened. Peace, Love Horse Racing for the sport, its a great sport.

  • Kate commented on August 4, 2014 at 8:54 pm

    As a horse and racing lover I would like to leave my feedback!

    From an early age my family have always enjoyed the races after 25yrs I decided to purchase an ex racehorse to retrain for another career, I had a 5 stage vet check and back x rays completed (not naive as most have issues).

    After purchasing the horse I find out that the top trainer I bought him from had illegally drugged my horse with ACP before getting me to ride him to mask a previous fractured pelvis they did not inform me about… The horse rode ok seemed stiff however it was only until 2 weeks later I find out the extent of his problems.

    This trainer and family I have admired since a child and absolutely horrified they were so irresponsible, he could have killed me by now and am left trying to fix what I can. So many back handlers going on with owners and vets…

    Yes horses will not race if they don’t want to but at such a young age they have no idea but to try and please man, frightened (fight or flight are horses natural instinct when scared) or drugged. Young, easily manipulated and bones are not formed to cope with the extent of such high performance pressure.
    These horses are merely money robots and once they stop bringing in the cash they are discarded of shot or sold on broken.

    Two sides to the racing industry and boy is the other side dark. No I’m not vegan or vegetarian I have even thought about eating him! (Joke).

  • Insider commented on August 12, 2014 at 10:25 pm

    Whilst I do not agree with PETA much of the time, I have to agree here. Those who say racehorses are treated like royalty and all the other well used cliches are I am afraid to say are liars. ALL horses that are whipped in racing are whipped much more than alliwed. There is no automatic ban, that is a myth to sweeten the punters. Many are hit 50 times or more in a single race with no ban. Most are whipped a minimum 30 times. If there was indeed an automatic ban, there would be no race horses where the whip is used at all. Ruby Walsh once got banned and then complained on his blog that he didn’t overuse the whip. He did but a ban means less money.

    A permitted drug, Lasik, is used to mask the illegal drugs forced into the horses. If you see a horse playing up at the stalls, that’s the one that has been illegally drugged, hence why these ines usually win despite the bizzarre behaviour.

    Horses don’t run if they don’t want to? A well trotted out cliche that is incorrect. A horse unwilling to run is forced into the stalls, often kicked into them in fact – the handlers are very lucky the horse rarely retaliates. Often the handlers will use a gesture to let the cameramen know to turn the camera away from the horses so they can kick the horse and hit it till it obeys. This is why you often get shots where the camera is turned cimpletely away from the hoeses in the opposite direction. However, they are not always fast enough and sometimes the camera moves too late and the public get to see the handlers very common behaviour.

    There was a famous horse that was drugged by approval of it’s owner which got second place. However, it would be unwise to say who owned it except a coin or stamp has the clues…

  • Horse Gal commented on August 15, 2014 at 9:41 am

    Horse Racing is wrong no matter what the circumstances. I just don’t see haw anyone could harm such a gentle and beautiful creature. Horse are part of my herd and to see them die for entertainment sickens me. Stop the horse racing so the slaughter and suffering can end.

    • selena commented on April 11, 2015 at 10:51 pm

      lol yer lets ban racing
      then so many more horses would end up being slaughtered.
      you obviously dont know very much about racing
      they dont die for entertainment, its not pheasant shooting.

  • Janine Iveson commented on August 26, 2014 at 8:52 pm

    The point a lot of people are making is that the horses ARE well treated by the trainers, jockeys etc. when they are racing. It is when they can no longer race that this treatment ceases. I am not saying it is always the case as plenty of yards make sure that their horses go to good homes. However, my beautiful 8 year old boy was given away to a dealer and after only 3 or 4 weeks out of racing, when I bought him, he was already riddled with worms and so skinny he looked like he had a saddle on under a rug, when it was actually his withers. I have spent at least two thousand pounds bringing him into good health which has included: worming twice and treatment for diarrhoea several times by the vet (I had to build up his food intake very slowly and he may even have ulcers) , having to keep him in his stable for 3 weeks then his guttural pouches had to be cleaned (he had been in contact at some point with a horse that had had strangles), syringing of his tear duct as it was blocked, washing of his private parts as he couldn’t ‘drop ‘properly as he was so sore, teeth done (he was supposed to have had them done but the dentist said they hadn’t been done for 18 months) etc. etc. I did contact the trainer, however, who said he would no longer supply his horses to that dealer and I hope he sticks by it. My horse is lucky and very well loved but many are not so lucky. Also it is not just ex race horses – I have seen many horses on livery yards that are not well cared for to say the least and are often sold when they get too old to do their ‘job’ properly or loaned out with the owner not really having a clue who they are ending up with. Humankind needs educating and we really are a despicable race. In the meantime I am enjoying seeing my boy running around the field with his best friend (another gelding) enjoying being a horse.

  • Christine commented on September 3, 2014 at 7:05 pm

    What a crock of crap sh** happens that is life.aint much l different than the rodeo hunny only the English I am from Texas if u think that’s cruel you should see how we whoop our kids a**es . if you like I can show ya what it feels like so you can speak from experience oh but I won’t give you any aspirin

    • Horse Owner commented on April 15, 2015 at 10:16 pm

      They don’t have grammar in Texas, no?

  • Sean hills commented on April 7, 2015 at 3:28 pm

    You want racing banned ? What do you think will happen to all the horses if that happens ? 100s of thousands will end up at the slaughter house.And you claim you care for animals ?

  • Auger commented on April 8, 2015 at 1:31 pm

    all commercial races should stop. What they do to animals for more and more money is absolutly dreadful

  • Margaret Boyle commented on April 8, 2015 at 7:02 pm

    People think it’s ok wipping a horse on the race course, but it would be seen as abuse anywhere else… A see abuse… STOP!!

  • patricia law commented on April 9, 2015 at 11:41 am

    i have never liked horse racing i cringe every time i see them go over any of the jumps ,beachers brook should be taken out it is far to dangerous and has taken the lives of so many horses. perhaps they should try to do it with no bridles on and see weather the horses would willingly go over the jumps or if they would just head to the grass to eat and know that they wont die ,i have always said racing with any animal is all about the money no consideration for its welfare just how far they can abuse them before they are no good to earn the cash . SHAME ON ALL OF YOU WHO ABUSE THESE HORSES JUST FOR THE CASH KARMA HAS A FUNNY WAY OF PAYING YOU BACK !!!!!

  • Richard commented on April 9, 2015 at 11:47 am

    We should treat others as we would like to be treated ourselves. This includes all Earthlings which covers all life on Earth. I personally would not like to be ridden around a race track at great speed having to jump over very high and dense fences whilst surrounded by lots of others all scrambling to reach the finish line first only to fill the pockets of my owner and those betting on my performance with loads of money with all the time the risk of whipping, serious injury leading to euthanasia because it would not be worth it to have me seen by a super vet. Makes more sense if you look at it from the horses point of view?

  • nikita marrott commented on April 9, 2015 at 12:14 pm

    Stop cruelty…

  • Melissa commented on April 9, 2015 at 12:47 pm

    I have always said horse racing should of been banned along time ago, horses being abused for people to win races and bets! I can not tolerate watching horse racing! They are made to do things they obviously aren’t happy doing, I mean who wants to be beaten?? 9 times out of 10 they get hurt and a lot of them die, as most leg injuries horses have, they can not recover from. I really don’t understand why this hasn’t been banned?????

  • paddy commented on April 9, 2015 at 1:49 pm

    Disgusting

  • tabitha dezonie commented on April 9, 2015 at 2:01 pm

    What you’re doing to these poor animals is immoral. They are not your objects to simply abuse and take full advantage of in the name of ‘sport’. Everyone and everything deserve to have rights, they deserve to live.

  • Margaret Macgregor commented on April 9, 2015 at 9:57 pm

    no need for this barbaric practice. A horse runs its heart out only to be continuously beater. Who else but men.

  • Brigitte Daniels commented on April 9, 2015 at 11:33 pm

    This cruelty must stop! It is beyond words what is been done to the horses!

  • Shirley Kowalewski commented on April 10, 2015 at 3:18 pm

    All horse racing in every country needs to end! Cruel greed!

  • Kathleen greenhalgh commented on April 11, 2015 at 2:32 pm

    Where money is concerned anything goes ,
    Its appalling and should be stopped ! !

  • emma Byrne commented on April 11, 2015 at 2:56 pm

    Ban cruel animal practices

  • Ed commented on April 11, 2015 at 3:00 pm

    More horses would die as a result of racing stopping, they are some of the best looked after animals in the world. This story is just a hate campaign of one sided bullshit.

  • Sam commented on April 11, 2015 at 7:06 pm

    Myself and my family are strongly involved in the industry including training racehorses and re training ex racehorses. This article to those who look at it from an outside perspective may sound horrifying. Those who know what actually happens will know this is not what goes on.
    Point 1-
    horses do die on the race track but saying all the time is a bit extreme. if you put those stats of how many die in a year to how many actually ran.. it is about 0.2%. Horses die everyday and that is fact. Heart attacks, accidents in the field, we even have one struck by lightning!
    Point 2-
    Jockeys do not see horses as replaceable, Every respectable jockey sees each horse as an individual, each having there own characteristics. if you look at any accidents that happen the jockey is always there to look after the horse and put there welfare as priority. This “quote” was taken out of context. But true his words were not looked upon as acceptable in the racing world.
    Point 3-
    Horses are put on drugs yes, but to help with ailments they may have. if there is a sign that a horse is not fit for racing it is turned away. Drudging happens in all sports but in the uk the winner of each race and one other horse at random is tested so the benefit of drugging your horse to race is nill. It still happens i do admit but that is a very small percentage but those against racing obviously pick those individuals out and make it sound like a big problem.
    Point 4-
    Horses that have finished racing go into a number of other disciplines when they retire. there are a number of charity to re home them, they go into hunting they even can go on to compete at Olympic level as a number have including war buckaroo in the 2012 Olympics and a little horse called Artemor who won gold in Moscow. Obviously if they are retired due to a severe injury that occurred they may have to be put down.
    Point 5-
    The most deadly Track is an interesting title to put on it.. But i suppose with all media these days it gets peoples attention if for the wrong reasons.. these so called safety improvements that people insists on putting in place have in fact made the race more dangerous.. lowering the jumps for example means they can go faster so increasing the risk of an accident. Again looking at stats, horses are fatality injured now more than before the course was changed.
    Point 6-
    If we go look at wild horses or even those out in a field, when do they start running, galloping.. maybe a couple days after they are born. If you do however over train a horse it will affect it’s growth. that is why trainers keep a close eye on the condition of each animal and asses how much training it can take.
    Point 7-
    In the UK there are a number of rules and regulations on use of the whip and if not adhered to the jockey gets a ban for a number of months depending how severe the incident. See link on rules: http://www.thepja.co.uk/members-info/regulatory/useofwhip/
    Point 8-
    Owners of horses do not put there money before their horse. If they think the horse may suffer in any way they withdraw.there may again be isolated cases where this may not have happened and i stress that this is not the case for the majority. if i had one of my horses showing any kind of abnormality i would pull him out because it is not worth the risk.
    So to anyone who may think they know it all from reading this column don’t believe everything you read. And im pretty sure you know from the papers that it is not always what it is printed as and more so if written by someone who has strong opinions or ideas of what they presume the truth to be because they haven seen it for themselves. These horses love to run if they didn’t they wouldn’t do it. Maybe watch a race and at the end look at the horses face.. do you see pain or discomfort.. no you will see a happy horse that has enjoyed what he has just done.

  • Antoilene du Toit commented on April 11, 2015 at 8:03 pm

    All these things about racing I know already because I studied Equine Stud Management. They teach us these things and the horses do not come first, it’s all about the money and yes, the horses can be ‘replaced’. It is a horrible horrible practice and wish something could be done to stop all of it and make the horses the important part of it all again. Horses do love racing, but it should be drug and abuse free. It should be solely because the horse is good and strong and old enough and really a good racer. Modern horseracing is an outrage!! And it disgusts me to the extent that I am no longer in the business of stud management.

  • Laura commented on April 11, 2015 at 8:49 pm

    Put an end to the cruelty!

  • Sheila mccann commented on April 11, 2015 at 9:04 pm

    Can we stop horse racing by raising money to take out tv and newspaper ads making people aware of the cruelty the horses are subjected to because I think most people are not aware of this.

  • Racehorse Owner commented on April 11, 2015 at 9:29 pm

    Think you need to be educated about horse racing! Not 1 of your facts are correct….. Read the rules of racing and get your information correct before publication….. You are a disgrace!

    • Dan commented on April 13, 2015 at 5:02 pm

      Hi, which item in specific are you contesting?

  • Matt commented on April 11, 2015 at 10:35 pm

    I am assuming that you are saying that al the stable lads and lasses that look after these horses 365 days a year are not members of the ‘industry’ then, as i can assure you they do not hold the view of horses being replaceable.

  • andy commented on April 12, 2015 at 12:18 am

    Its a pity the article is written in an unbalanced way.

    There may be some valid points for readers to consider on the subject discussed. However, due to the writing style (non sequiters, hyperbole, etc) many will just write off the author as a loony.

    An example of what I mean:
    ‘”Jockeys see horses as “replaceable”. Jockey Ruby Walsh caused a scandal with his comment on the death of Our Conor at Cheltenham: “You can replace a horse“.’

    -Here we have an undefended quote from a single jockey without context: “You can replace a horse” and the conclusion the author draws has already authoritively been made in the preceding subtitle: “Jockeys see horses as “replaceable”.

    …Most reasonable readers will spot the nonsense immeadiately and the entire article and perhaps website/organization is thus discredited.

    The lesson: If you have a reasonable story to tell, tell it in a reasonable way. And if you feel very strongly about it, get someone else to write it for you or your bias will bleed through into the article and leave an obvious and distasteful stain.

  • Lynne Eddison commented on April 12, 2015 at 12:20 am

    It’s so cruel to race horses beyond there ability by making them jump too many jumps and too many horses jumping at the same time and also the course is too long I thing there are more horses are killed then they make out and as for killing for dog meat is disgusting and some one should try to stop it

  • philip commented on April 12, 2015 at 12:40 am

    Just seen this posted on facebook. I should point out that if you look at the statistics of the grand national and also the regulations regarding the race and also the course and veterinary cover for any race over the national fences including police escort for any injured horse which needs to be taken to Liverpool veterinary hospital, you’ll find that the grand national is one of the most regulated and safest equine sporting events in the world.

    The solid part of a grand national fence is only about 18 inches high the horse could quite easily gallop through it without injury. Go to Aintree when the fences havent been built you’ll see what i mean. Even the front of the fence facing the horse is designed to help them jump safely. The largest fence on the course is the chair. The ditch is designed so a horse can safely end up in the ditch without injury and have a horse jump over him over the fence. I have seen one jockey actually go through the bottom half of the chair.

    As for doping the horse, peta is highlighting the USA. British horse racing has banned most painkilling drugs and as the uk case mentioned shows, there are heavy penalties given for any infringement.

    When working at a yard, i saw one lad sacked on the spot for using an unknown substance on a horse, yards have to be that careful.

    Overuse of the whip and any marking of a horse from the whip is heavily penalised as well.

    These regulations were in place years before i worked in horse racing 20 yrs ago and they have been strengthened since.

    Vets can be attending a horse in racing within seconds as they follow the runners around, at least 2 vets must be on course for racing to happen. Not many equine sports have this sort of veterinary cover can take minutes if there is a vet at the site, longer if vet has to be called. Grand national has a vet at every fence

  • Stu commented on April 12, 2015 at 12:55 am

    has anyone thought that probably 70-80%( as a conservative estimate) of these horses probably wouldnt have been born if it wasnt for the horse racing industry. A small preportion of them end up lame or dead before their time, no different to us. Without racing there would be a lot less horses around, and the vast majority of owners, myself included, hand them over to the stable lads or lasses once there racing days are over to event or just to look after.

  • Marie rigby commented on April 12, 2015 at 12:39 pm

    Horse racing should be stopped, just like dog fighting, circuses, but they never will be whilst money is king

  • kitkatxxx commented on April 12, 2015 at 2:22 pm

    What a load of rubbish my father is an ex jockey and none of this is true.

  • veronica sheehan commented on April 12, 2015 at 3:26 pm

    What about all the cattle..milk and beef expected to lay on cold hard concrete with slats which allow a constant draught and suffocking methane gas to affect them into an early death, in the case of cows. Also, look at all the yearling horses raced on the roads by gypsies and travellers.
    Yes I agree money has taken the fun out of everything. Now we have turned cruel to get our hands on more of it…..

  • Natalie Davies commented on April 12, 2015 at 3:58 pm

    Racing these young horse’s to death is wrong go play poker to bet.

  • Cressida Gail Lewis commented on April 12, 2015 at 4:52 pm

    The retired horses are sent to the slaughter house, and turned into dog food or horsemeat! Fuck me! No shit Sherlock….

    • Janet commented on April 13, 2015 at 2:00 pm

      Not all retired racehorses are sent to the slaughter house, I have one now and have had one in the past. They are useful horses that can undertake most tasks asked of them and because they have been well cared for and handled from birth are a joy to look after. If you feel sorry for anything, feel sorry for the poor gypsy cobs that are over-bred and end up starving in ditches with no-one to care for them and love them. A racehorses life could not be further from this scenario.

  • Bazza commented on April 12, 2015 at 5:05 pm

    I’m no fan of horse racing but neither am I a fan of one sided ill informed propaganda which PETA seems to deal in. Try to hear both sides of the argument rather than one from some organisation with a hidden agenda.

    • Dan commented on April 13, 2015 at 4:59 pm

      PETA’s agenda isn’t hidden. It is in the top banner of our website! We believe that animals are not ours to eat, wear, experiment on, use for our entertainment or abuse in any other way.

  • joan harrop commented on April 12, 2015 at 5:11 pm

    no animal should be used to make us rich or amuses us they are not here for that so please stop this now

  • nick commented on April 12, 2015 at 6:38 pm

    I’ve never read such rubbish… These horses are treated like royalty and wouldn’t even exist if it wasn’t for the racing industry. It’s not without it’s accidents, just like any walk of life, but the horses are the most important things in any racing yard. This article is full of misquotations and misdirection. Shame on you peta for a poor journalistic skills.

  • amber reid commented on April 12, 2015 at 9:49 pm

    Im a big animal ♥♥♥er .
    Id like to hrlp however I can

  • Georgia commented on April 13, 2015 at 12:13 am

    “8 things they don’t tell you about horse racing” but what about the hundreds of things they don’t tell you if we were to BAN racing. These horses have a career, like eventers and driving horses. You take this away from them, and they become even more worthless. What happens then? They are abandoned. They are slaughtered. Is that a better life? Grand National has a risk, so does eventing or simply hacking. The horses in GN were old enough to be fully developed as thoroughbreds develop quickly. So, would you rather just deal with a traditional, loved sport, or perhaps you’d like to see these well vetted, well cared for horses end up as skinny messes abandoned and shot. Look at the bigger picture. These campaigns are stupid.

  • Ken Ware commented on April 13, 2015 at 1:11 am

    Sorry, but:
    1. Racehorses are probably the best cared for horses in the world, fed and kept healthy all year round through both training and length breaks.
    2. Horses are only ‘replaceable’ in the way that other animals are also replaceable, i.e. they can be physically replaced as there are and will be many more of them – this isn’t devaluing their lives, it is just a fact.
    3. The horses being on drugs point is just stupid. Should we not give painkillers, etc. to horses? It is counterproductive to run a drugged horse instead of resting it – it would result in a lengthier period on the sidelines. When caught doping, those responsible are banned.
    4. Of course this happens sometimes and isn’t great, but surely living a short (for the slaughtered few) healthy and happy life and then being slaughtered is a better fate than what awaits newborn pigs and cattle?
    5. Agree. However, bigger fields means slower races which means safer races?
    6. Rubbish, especially as to race in the Grand National a horse has to be at least seven years old.
    7. Does look barbaric but the rules are increasingly strict on whipping. Also “whips CAN cause pain”…
    8. It’s definitely not all about money. Racehorses cost thousands, if not more, to buy and breed and the chance of winning a valuable race like the Grand National is incredibly slim.

  • Maureen eyers commented on April 13, 2015 at 9:57 am

    Just a pity that the article actual doesn’t contain any actual FACTS! Typical of PETA, get your actual facts right! Aintree was amazing this year, going from strength to strength over 150,000 people supporting and enjoying racing over 3 days in one place! And all I saw from the racing staff was people who love and care for their horses

  • carlie campbell commented on April 14, 2015 at 6:25 am

    please ban the horse racing!

  • graham commented on April 14, 2015 at 4:18 pm

    Dont not comment on things you obviously know so little about.
    You’re narrow minded comments are way off the mark and come from a group with a one track train of thought and that is to stop the sport of horse racing at any cost

  • Ekm commented on April 14, 2015 at 4:20 pm

    There is an actual study that shows horses that are raced consistently over short distances at the age of two have better bone condition to hold up to racing than those who are not.

    Forced to run? I’m guessing you have never seen a horse lose its rider and race just as he would have with the rider, without him. Came into the rail in the lead position then gave it his all coming into the homestretch. Maybe you’ve never worked directly with thoroughbreds. Maybe you have no understanding of medications given to these horses. Many of the medications you consider horrible are medications used in every field of the equine industry.

    These animals are athletes— thus the need for medications — hey you have a muscle cramp? Why not soak in some Epsom salts and take a tylenol? Sure, some don’t like the track and end up as people’s pets just like my two off the track horses did. Some aren’t as fortunate, I am aware. The crop is used in all aspects of the equine industry and I would urge you to educate yourselves before spitting propaganda….. Oh. Wait. That’s all you do— while you euthanize thousands of animals– more so than any humane society.

  • Anita Jarrell commented on April 15, 2015 at 12:20 am

    This is an abomination and Inhumane and People that treat these horses this way should pay the ultimate price…. DEATH ,!!!!!

  • oarga ioana corina commented on April 15, 2015 at 2:20 am

    Stop to abuxing horses !

  • saket more commented on April 21, 2015 at 7:58 am

    We should treat any living being in good
    way

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