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horsemads mum
9th April 2011, 05:05 PM
Just heard 2 horses died in this year Grand National. RIP

Arizona
9th April 2011, 05:12 PM
RIP Ornais and Dooney's Gate xxx

Belle
9th April 2011, 05:14 PM
God i hate it, all in the name of entertainment - so sad :(

vels mum
9th April 2011, 05:24 PM
Anyone know what happened, broken legs? Couldnt bare to watch it.......

IcarusGirl
9th April 2011, 05:29 PM
Is it really worth it?! :(

bimba
9th April 2011, 05:35 PM
RIP gees.

Have to say though I don't agree with all the 'is it worth it', without racing these horses would not exist - simple as. Accidents can happen at any time, anywhere. There are fatal falls in eventing, at hunter trial, out hunting yet I bet we'd all still give that a go; it's only because the falls in racing (and this race in particular) are so well publicised that it gets a bad name. Obviously I'm not saying I would want horses to die for our pleasure but I think it's a shame that the fantastic athleticism of the horses and dedication of all their connections gets overshadowed by the negative side of the sport.

IcarusGirl
9th April 2011, 05:38 PM
I dont mind racing at all! I just think the grand national takes things a bit far. Too many horses for example...

lozy
9th April 2011, 06:07 PM
RIP gees.

Have to say though I don't agree with all the 'is it worth it', without racing these horses would not exist - simple as. Accidents can happen at any time, anywhere. There are fatal falls in eventing, at hunter trial, out hunting yet I bet we'd all still give that a go; it's only because the falls in racing (and this race in particular) are so well publicised that it gets a bad name. Obviously I'm not saying I would want horses to die for our pleasure but I think it's a shame that the fantastic athleticism of the horses and dedication of all their connections gets overshadowed by the negative side of the sport.
So so sad that those horses had to be destroyed but I totally agree with this, Bimba you put my thoughts down exactly!

zoeee
9th April 2011, 06:27 PM
it's so sad, they were such beautiful horses. this is why i hate watching the grand national, so many fall.
RIP :( x

Jill
9th April 2011, 06:37 PM
I don't like horse racing at all, it seems so money-orientated, far more so than other horse sports, and yes, bimba, you're right, but the difference with the National is that it is not surprising when there are deaths.
Thank God it's not as bad as when I was a child. The jumps were bigger then and slightly different in design and there were deaths every year, the only question was how many there would be.
One of the best and most popular racehorses ever, Arkle, who might well have won, was never entered for the National because his owner loved him too much to put him at risk. The organisers have made improvements over the years to reduce the risk to an acceptable level.
I still can't bear to watch it though.

scewae
9th April 2011, 07:23 PM
There is a very disturbing picture of Dooneys Gate's fall on The Daily Mail website, RIP.

Zeitgeist Mom
9th April 2011, 07:51 PM
Anyone know what happened, broken legs? Couldnt bare to watch it.......

According to Racehorse Deathwatch Ornais had a broken neck, and Dooney's Gate had a broken back. :(

I am not anti horse racing in itself, but I hate the Grand National. I can't believe it is still allowed in this day and age. I don't see the point in making it so gruelling. At the very least, it should be a much smaller field. 40 horses is ridiculous. Far too long. Far too many jumps. There is no need for it to be so extreme. :mad:

LindyB
9th April 2011, 08:28 PM
I agree, I dont mind horseracing but the grand national takes it too far...rip

zoeee
9th April 2011, 08:56 PM
There is a very disturbing picture of Dooneys Gate's fall on The Daily Mail website, RIP.

those pictures are horrific :(

Catg
9th April 2011, 09:12 PM
Very sad. RIP :(

XenaWarriorPrincess
9th April 2011, 09:30 PM
Very sad but also agree with Bimba and Lozy.

Also thoughts for Peter Toole and his family, he is currently critically ill in hospital.

Barry G
9th April 2011, 09:33 PM
Beware Ladies, lest we amateur riders allow show jumping and cross country courses to be designed to be so difficult as to be potentially suicidal for the horses to compete in.

Horses can't run any faster than they already do, neither can they jump higher than they already can - so man came up with the idea of making them run as fast as they do and jump as high as they can in the same competition.
Which is why some of the competing horses pay the ultimate price.

Let us hope the gambling fraternity never discover show jumping or cross country.
My worry is that the advertisers already have. I wonder what device they will inevitably come up with to make jumping more 'exciting'.

Belle
9th April 2011, 10:19 PM
God i hate it, all in the name of entertainment - so sad :(

When I say I hate it, I mean the Grand National , I don't have a problem with horse racing generally just the extremes of this particular race.

Bex16
10th April 2011, 02:18 PM
So sad, the Daily mail pics are horrible. I'm not against racing and realise in any sport accidents happen but why does the Grand National have to be so extreme. Surely its time to put an end to testing these beautiful animals quite so extremely in the name of entertainment. I can no longer bare to watch it as the only question I ask when everyone else is asking who won is how many horses were lost.
Run free Ornais and Dooneys Gate

Teej
10th April 2011, 08:32 PM
Ditto hating the Grand National :( Hate cross country too and don't understand the point of fixed jumps??

RIP beautiful horses x

Loumoo74
10th April 2011, 09:06 PM
Glad I missed it. RIP geegees.

Kelza
11th April 2011, 12:07 PM
RIP Gees!

I also hate the National and never watch it. What makes it worse there was a sweep in my office and I heard one person say 'My horse fell over and died, haha!'

Barry G
11th April 2011, 01:04 PM
The issue of whether we should allow the Grand National steeple chase to continue under the present rules embraces issues way beyond a limitation on the freedom of the individual to risk his neck by taking part.
I have no real qualms about allowing a professional jockey to ride the course. That is their chosen job for which many of them are paid very highly. Even those amateurs who do it for the fun of taking part deserve little sympathy if things go wrong. We have not been told how many jockeys were seriously injured this year but none have died as a result.

The horse calls for different consideration. It was trained specifically for this event and others similar and the trainer knew the risks of injury to the animal were high but equally that the reward for winning was also high. The horse was expected to obey and do as it was told.

Half an hours drive away from my house, still stand the earthworks of an arena in which two thousand years ago Roman gladiators fought both each other and the Welsh slaves they had captured in the process of subjugating the British. The atmosphere in that arena amongst the onlookers back then would have been much the same as that at Aintree during the Grand National.
Interestingly in the opposite direction stands the remains of a Norman Castle, in the grounds of which there would have been a tilting yard, where one thousand years ago knights mounted on chargers would have fought each other for the amusement of the crowd, again in an atmosphere of high excitement. We Brits are no strangers to shows of combat for the amusement of cheering onlookers.

The Army does not ride horses to war any more although it does strap cameras and other devices to dogs used for sniffing out IEDs. But the steady change in attitude over several decades towards the unwarranted endangering of faithful dumb but intelligent animals is a noticeable improvement. Animals under British Law now have certain rights to life and humane treatment. Human(e) being a revealing word. But are those rights always enforced? Horses can't stand up in court and plead their case.

I don’t see any chance to get the Grand National banned but I do think that more could be do to reduce the risk of injury to the horses.
The number of participating horses taking part in the race could be reduced from 40.
The height or difficulty of the jumps could be modified.
The qualifications of both horse and jockey for entry could be raised.
Only professional jockeys with a high degree of experience could be allowed to ride.
The punishments for equine abuse could be much more severe. Wayne Rooney was very severely penalised for merely swearing into a journalist's camera.

In other words the race could become more a test of subtle skills.

The changes would be for the race organisers to bring about in association with certain horse welfare groups.

The Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals is the liason body supposedly working with the racing authority on matters of horse and rider safety. One wonders if they are too cosily close to the organisers of the GN. Perhaps more pressure could be exerted on the RSPCA or even the British Horse Society to help reduce the number of deaths?

Personally I have noserious problems with men trying to nearly kill each other in any so called sport but I don’t like to see horses being abused as punter fodder.

i lovee belle
11th April 2011, 04:25 PM
so sad-RIP!xx

vels mum
11th April 2011, 04:35 PM
Aparently only 19 out the 40 actually made it over the finish line without injury/loss of rider/death.

Far too many horses in the race IMO.

Gix
11th April 2011, 05:29 PM
Aparently only 19 out the 40 actually made it over the finish line without injury/loss of rider/death.

Far too many horses in the race IMO.

how many were actually fallers and how many were pulled up?

Some facts to show just how far the grand national has come over the years in terms of safety -

1911 - 26 runners, 21 fallers

1913 - 22 runners, 6 made it home

1922 - 33 runners, 27 fallers

1921 - 31 out of 35 runners fell

1927 - 42 runners, 2 finished, some were pulled up but at least half the non finishers were fallers.

1929 - 66 runners, 10 finished, some were pulled up but there were about 40 fallers.

as recently as 2001, 40 runners, 4 made it home, bets were being taken at odds of 6 - 1 of all runners making it over the first fence due to the conditions (very heavy).

So, every year there are casualities, but most do go home to their stables that night. There will always be casualities in all sports, equine and non equine.

Its very sad but its the risk. We all take risks, we all ask our horses to share those risks. Simple as.

namtasha
11th April 2011, 08:19 PM
i heard 3 died, one after the race from exhaustion

vels mum
11th April 2011, 08:30 PM
how many were actually fallers and how many were pulled up?

Im not sure how many of those were pulled up, why are horses pulled up anyway would that not be if they were really struggling? If so surely they were not fit to run the race in the first place

Its very sad but its the risk. We all take risks, we all ask our horses to share those risks. Simple as.

I dont think its as simple as that, the GN is a huge risk, a risk I cetainly would impose on my horse.

Barry G
11th April 2011, 08:39 PM
In an interesting article on today's BBC Internet News, it states that the race authorities of steeple chasing 'allow' for 6 horse deaths for every 100 horse race rides - although of late the average number of fatal accidents has been greater.

It is accepted that the steeplechasing is dangerous and that horses will routinely die as a result. Race horses are expendable - especially if they don't run fast enough.

However it has been noticed by 'the powers that be' that the death rate is being queried by 'animal rights groups'.

Guys, that's what we horse riders now are - 'animal rights activists'.

Gix
11th April 2011, 08:43 PM
Granted the risk in your quiet spot is less than the risk most of us take here. Every road hack is a huge risk we impose on our horses but most of us still ask it.
The grand national is a risky race, but its once a year, no comfort to those that lose horses, no comfort to those horses that do not come home, but it pains me to see people slamming a once a year race when they risk their own horses day in day out, a horse is much less likely to survive an RTA than its rider....is it any more fair to ask the horse to take that risk than to ask it to risk running round a 4 mile steeplchase?

bimba
11th April 2011, 10:46 PM
Totally agree with you Gix, we put our horses at risk every time we hack, travel, turn out - doesn't mean we love them any less or care any less about their welfare just means our priorities are different. I think alot of what is written in the press about it is very sensationalist and uses overly emotional language. For example I was reading the Daily Mail at work today who were criticising the BBC commentators for saying 2 jumps were bypassed as chequered flags were raised to warn the jockeys that there was an obstacle on course while they printed pictures of Donneys Gates fall - to me it is far, far more disrespectful to print a picture of a horrific fall than to refer to a horse with screens around it as an obstacle.

RacingGirl
11th April 2011, 10:52 PM
Did you know there was also 1 death at Lingfield on the flat, which is not public knowledge (friend works at the yards and told me), 1 at Thirsk on the flat and 1 of David Pipes at Chepstow... but not a peep about these....

Yes it's sad, but instead of reading the tabloids that make it worse, log into the Racing Post, look at the BHA website. Tabloids are there to make it look ten times worse than it is, and scare mongering...

stepbystep
11th April 2011, 10:52 PM
I also think the fact that when the horse looses a rider, it carries on racing with tack everywhere and that is dangerous...
Too many Horses
Too high jumps...

bimba
11th April 2011, 10:58 PM
Stepbystep - the thing is though they've lowered the height of the jumps which now allows the horses to travel much faster and thus creates harder falls. Obviously I'm not saying go back to the way the jumps used to be when they were enormous but maybe backing the horses off a bit more wouldn't be a bad thing? I think Saturdays ground probably also played a bit part in that it was unseasonably dry and warm which will have made the going much faster than usual at the meeting.

stepbystep
11th April 2011, 11:08 PM
Good Point. Uh its a hard one...

CautionToTheWind
12th April 2011, 12:11 AM
I don't dislike horse racing, but I really think the Grand National is terrible. The fact that you place bets on whether your chosen horse will even make it round the course is disgusting enough, I'd hate to think people were just looking a the horses thinking "yer, that one wont make it over".

John McCririck was questioned on Daybreak this morning about stopping the race and he said: "the end of the grand national is the end of the thoroughbred as we know it". I only partly agree, but I do see his point - these hores are brought into this world to race and that is often their sole purpose and use. However, it only so happens that the GN is a hugely popular event in which people like us can speak out to joe public about how terrible this all is, there are many other circumstances (bear dancing/circuses etc) where animal lovers don't get their voices heard because its not as highly publicised yet the crime is just as bad.

The ill-educated voices on the daybreak sofa said "horses a made to run" when in fact we all know that horses only run when they feel in danger and are actually more made to eat constantly - which they can't do when running. I think the lack of educated watchers of this sport allows for people to be able to bet who (if any) will make it over the finish line and allows us to account and accept that there will be horses that cannot make it round the course whether it be due to death/injury/rider/lack of experience. The fact that deaths are now occurring most years illustrates how best for the grand national are almost bets on "who wont die" which is disgusting.

I think this event would make just as much money if the size were smaller and the fences easier. I think it unnecessary to make horses do such a challenging course purely for laughs and money especially when we are losing talent as easily as this.

Gix
12th April 2011, 07:59 AM
CTTW - did it escape your notice that horses die in other races at flat meets and NH meets every year? But because the Grand National is more publicised with a richer pot we should do something about it? What about all the horses that are traumatised, injured and killed on the roads? And what about eventing, or P2P? Do these horses not deserve a voice too?

I hate the fact that horses are lost in racing, eventing, all walks of horse life have casualties, but I would hate to see an end to any of these activities. As I said before, the Grand National is like the badminton of the NH calendar, the ultimate test of horse and jockey stamina and ability, trainers skill in prep, if it wasnt then it would not be the Grand National.

I apologise for seemingly posting solely to you, its just it was easier to refer to your posts than go through the thread refering to other posts which make similar points, but the fact is some of the points made in this thread seem incredibly blinkered. Most of us put our horses at higher risk every week, some every day, yet that is acceptable apparently, but running a horse 4 miles and 4 furlongs over fences once a year, probably only 2 or 3 times in their lifetime, is not acceptable? I think some us just havent or dont want to accept that we are risking their well being all the time.

Kelza
12th April 2011, 01:01 PM
I understand that other horses die in other races, but for 2 possibly 3 to die in just one race, and for it to happen practically every race just doesn't seem right to me.

Gix
12th April 2011, 02:09 PM
horses dying in any race at any time is 'not right' but its going to happen. Horses dying on the roads or out hunting, even in the showring (yes it does happen) before their time is 'not right' but it will happen for as long as we continue to put them at risk, and we do, every day.