The Grand National Horse Race is considered in the U.K. as the world's greatest steeplechase. The 164th Grand National saw the death of three horses and a serious brain injury to a jockey. This totals 20 horses killed by this race since 2000.The winning horse, Ballabriggs, almost succumbed to dehydration and exhaustion at the finish line. And the jockey riding Ballabriggs was handed a five day ban for excessive use of his whip on the winning horse.
The four and a half mile race is considered grueling. The triangle-shaped course and 30 jumps over 16 fences - many with difficult reputations for falls and in juries - make the Grand National unnecessarily dangerous to both horse and human.
Many animal advocacy groups, including Animal Aid, Fight Against Animal Cruelty in Europe and The League Against Cruel Sports are calling for a ban.
Humans have the choice of taking a chance, or not, with their life. A race horse is given no such opportunity. They are forced to participate at the behest of humans.
With a prize fund of 950,000 pounds in 2011 it appears the Grand National is not about national pride in a sporting event. It is about the money to be made.