Swap the Grand National for Hobby Horse Racing, PETA Urges Pub

Swap the Grand National for Hobby Horse Racing, PETA Urges Pub

Aintree – As the Grand National horse racing festival approaches, PETA has sent a letter to Aintree’s most popular pub, The Queens Arms, urging it to host a hobby horse race instead of showing a cruel and antiquated event that killed two horses last year. If the pub is game, PETA will even supply the hobby horses.

“You can make a compassionate statement by betting on willing, enthusiastic, human racers instead,” writes PETA Director Elisa Allen. “Pub-goers can still enjoy a drink and socialise with friends, knowing that their day of fun did not cause suffering or death for any other sentient beings.”

Hobby horse racing is already a big deal in some parts of Europe: in 2019, 2,500 spectators flocked to Finland for the Finnish Hobbyhorse Championships, in which participants show-jumped, barrel-raced, and pranced in a dressage competition. Meanwhile, in the Grand National, 29 race-related horse deaths have occurred since 2010. Horses used for racing often die of fatal injuries such as broken backs or are killed after sustaining broken legs. Horses who survive end the race sweating, exhausted, and sometimes injured.

“No one would be raising a glass if cats or dogs were the ones being whipped and forced to jump dangerous obstacles, shattering their ankles, snapping their necks, and being shot in the head right on the track,” Allen adds. “Horses deserve no less sympathy.”

Last year, “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. PETA has exposed that some horses endure a terrifying journey to South Korea to be violently killed for meat.

PETA – whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to use for entertainment” – opposes speciesism, a human-supremacist worldview. For more information on the group’s newsgathering and investigative reporting, please visit PETA.org.uk or follow the group on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram.


Jennifer White +44 (0) 20 7837 6327; [email protected]