The Grand National Loses Another Sponsor

Posted by on March 4, 2024 | Permalink

Update (21 February 2024):
The Grand National has lost sponsorship from EFT Systems. The digital company decided to distance itself from the UK’s most dangerous horse race following over 80,000 messages from PETA supporters. Thank you to everyone who sent EFT Systems a message.

Original post (24 April 2023):
Insurance company Marsh has confirmed that it is no longer a sponsor of the UK’s most dangerous horse race, the Grand National, after three years of sponsorship and promotion of the event. The news follows the death of four horses at this year’s Grand National Festival and over 70,000 e-mails from PETA supporters.

Since 2000, 63 horses have died at the annual festival, making it clear that catastrophic injuries are the only sure bets for the Grand National. We commend Marsh’s decision to distance itself from a race that pushes horses to – and often past – their breaking point.

Thank you to all the PETA supporters who sent e-mails to Marsh. And thank you, too, to the hundreds of caring people who joined Animal Rising in protesting at Aintree during the festival to let the public know that racing horses to death is unacceptable.

Three horses in a row.

How Fatal Is the Grand National?

Each year, 40 skittish horses compete for space as they’re forced to race through obstacles such as ditches, drops, and sharp turns. Many will smash face first into the ground and break their backs and necks. Some are killed by humans after sustaining broken legs or ankles.

Horses are forced into submission through whipping. Unbelievably, jockeys are required to carry a whip during the events. This behaviour would be reported as animal abuse off the track, yet it’s accepted without question at the Grand National Festival.

The death toll of the festival continues to rise with four horses dying in 2023 and four in 2022. Horses who survive end the race whipped, sweating, exhausted, and often injured.

Horses Used for Racing Killed in Abattoirs

At the end of their racing days, horses are often discarded like used betting slips. They are dumped with rescue charities, shot at stables, or sold for slaughter.

In 2021, “The Dark Side of Horse Racing” on BBC One’s Panorama revealed that thousands of horses formerly used for racing in the UK and Ireland are sent to the abattoir every year, many ending up as cat or dog food. PETA has exposed that some horses endure a terrifying journey to South Korea to be used in racing and then violently killed for meat when they’re no longer profitable.

Campaigning for Horses

The heartbreaking fatalities will continue each year, as long as horses are exploited in this hazardous race. PETA is calling on companies that sponsor the Grand National Festival to drop their funding immediately.

Marsh joins a long list of companies, including Chi London, Ryanair, Close Brothers Group, Pertemps, SSS Super Alloys, and Pinsent Masons, that have ended their sponsorship of the Grand National in the past year.

Please urge the remaining sponsors to join the movement and cut ties with the event now: