Most people regard horse racing as a harmless sport in which the animals are willing participants who thoroughly enjoy the thrill. The truth is that, behind the scenes, lies a story of immense suffering.
Approximately 12,000 foals are born into the closely-related British and Irish racing industries each year, yet only around 50 per cent go on to become racers. Those horses who do not make the grade may be slaughtered for meat ,shot ,drowned or repeatedly changed hands in the downward spiral of neglect . Of those horses who do go on to race, around 420 are raced to death every year.
The Grand National is a deliberately hazardous race. Since 2000, 22 horses have died on the Grand National course and, over the course of the three-day meeting, 38 horses have been killed at the three-day in that same period.
Beneath its glamorous façade, commercial horse racing is a ruthless industry motivated by financial gain and prestige. Cruelty? You can bet on it!