“OMG…the dreaded day is ahead…& it’s started already, one horse dead, although that was through a heart attack, so one has to question, why was he racing in the first place? was it just about MONEY!!!”
“Please if you love animals, especially horses, don’t back on the cruelty! These horses may well be very well cared for but at what cost? their life, in one race! I am dreading the Grand National & would ask everyone to pray that all horses finish the course & get to go home without any incident!”
“The spokes people at the Grand National have to mention a horse that has gone down, because it’s live TV. But you don’t hear them mentioning the ones that have gone back to their stables & died of heart attacks like Battlfront R.I.P or other horses who have burst pulmonary arteries etc.”
The Grand National course, which has undergone what have been described as major safety improvements, claimed an equine victim today (4 April), when 11-year-old Battlefront collapsed and died with a suspected heart attack.
He was being ridden by Katie Walsh, who earlier this week triggered controversy when she seemed to trivialise the deaths of horses on racecourses (‘these things happen, and they’re horses at the end of the day’), and claimed that race horses are looked after ‘better than some children’.
Battlefront had been racing in the 3.40 Foxhunters’ Chase, which is run over 18 fences on the Grand National course. Walsh pulled him up when he appeared to become distressed after jumping the challenging Valentine’s Brook.
He had been carrying an exceptionally heavy weight of 12 stone. Twenty-three other horses were entered into the 2m 5f event. It has been reported that four of them fell, another was brought down, several were pulled up and just 14 of the 24 finished.
Battlefront is the 23rd horse to have died on the Grand National course since 2000 – eleven of them having perished in the big race itself.
Says Andrew Tyler, Director of Animal Aid:
‘The Aintree authorities and the British Horseracing Authority have been claiming that major new safety measures and efficiencies would eliminate much of the risk associated with racing on the Grand National course. But today’s Foxhunters’ Chase, in which Battlefront lost his life, was stomach-wrenchingly chaotic from start to finish. Several horses fell or were pulled up, tired and potentially injured. It was both utterly depressing and served as confirmation that the Aintree authorities have got it badly wrong once again.’
For more information:Contact Andrew Tyler or Dene Stansall on 01732 364546.
The Grand National meeting at Aintree suffered its first fatality on day one this afternoon as Battlefront collapsed and died after the 3.40 John Smith’s Fox Hunters‘ Chase.
The horse, ridden by Katie Walsh, was pulled up at the 11th fence of the 2m 5f chase, which was won by 100/1 long shot Tartan Snow.
Unfortunately 11-year-old Battlefront, trained by the jockey’s father Ted, then suffered a suspected heart attack on the way back to the stables and died.
Professor Chris Proudman, veterinary advisor to Aintree Racecourse, confirmed the news, saying: ‘We can confirm that Battlefront was pulled up at fence 11 of the John Smith’s Fox Hunter’s Chase on the Grand National course by his jockey Katie Walsh and sadly afterwards he collapsed and died.
Changes to the fence course:- WHW…Video
Working towards a safer Grand National
Published on 4 Apr 2013
World Horse Welfare Chief Executive, Roly Owers, discusses the changes being made by Aintree Racecourse to the Grand National 2013 fences and course, including the new fence cores.
Find out more about World Horse Welfare’s work with sport regulators; http://www.worldhorsewelfare.org/sport
Just a few of the many petitions to sign:-