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The Grand National is a deliberately hazardous race.

A dangerously overcrowded field of 40 horses is forced to confront 30 extraordinarily challenging and treacherous jumps, over a course of four-and-a-half miles, the longest in the world. Since 2000, 20 horses have died on the Grand National course and, over the course of the three-day meeting, 34 horses have been killed at the three-day in that same period.

The event has seen numerous horses collapse, some of whom have died. Most recently, in 2009, Irish horse Hear The Echo collapsed and never recovered, shortly before the finishing post. Millions of television viewers were especially distressed to see the 2011 Grand National winner, Ballabriggs, being thrashed at the end of a race that left him so exhausted, that he needed oxygen. His jockey, Jason Maguire, was banned from racing for five days but kept his prize money and his winner’s position. The modern race horse is bred to be fast, but at the expense of bone strength and general health.

Despite its long history, the past decade has been the race’s deadliest decade. The fences have seen physical changes. From 1961, they were sloped on the take-off side. In 2009, run-outs were introduced that enable fences to be bypassed by the runners and loose horses. There have also been changes to the core structure of the fences. However, these innovations have not reduced the fatalities.  The death rate has actually increased over the last 50 years.

Horses have been my life for around 45 years so I have an in depth knowledge of horses & equine injuries. It is positively cruel to expect a horse to run 41/2 miles at full gallop & jump a total of 30 fences as well.

Please, don’t back the cruelty.  Sign the petition below:
Very rarely do you hear of the horses that have died, either as a result of a fall or after crossing the finishing line;  many die after the race from heart attacks or internal bleeding, but you will never hear of them.
I would suggest anyone interested in actual fatalities as a result of racing to view the following,
http://www.horsedeathwatch.com/  then & only then will you get an idea of how cruel this sport of kings really is.
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