Three men try to convince Grand National ISN’T a barbaric anachronism


Grand National - Animal.Rising photo
THREE MEN try to convince us that the Grand National horse race ISN’T a barbaric anachronism. I don’t imagine that many of you have the time to go deeply into this. I don’t expect a huge number of likes for this post. Nevertheless, I think some things need to be said. This “debate“ was what the ITV coverage of the Grand National offered its viewers in the period when the race was delayed. Debates between three men all on the same side – not a hint of any representation of an alternative point of view. Not a hint of recognition of the fact that the protesters might have some good reasons to be protesting. Well done ITV – no attempt whatsoever to give an unbiased account of what was going on.

Three men trying to convinvce Grand National horse race ISN’T a barbaric anachronism

What am I posting this ? Because I think what they say is very revealing of the mentality of those who defend the Grand National as a sporting event.

It starts off with the man on the left, making the standard assertion that racehorses are “unbelievably well cared-for“ in their daily lives. As if this had anything, whatsoever to do with the question of whether they should be forced into a chaotic gruelling race in which they may suffer terrible injuries or die. Seems like this person needs educating.

Next, he says “Yes it is unfortunate that occasionally horses do occasionally lose their lives in the races“. “Unfortunate “, is it ? Really. I think the words I would use would be “unforgivable”, or “unacceptable”. What kind of people are these, who could prioritise entertainment and money-making over the life of even ONE animal, never mind the continuous stream of horses that have died in the sport over the years ?

Let’s gloss over the next comment about horses being the heavy creatures on thin spindly legs. You would think that observation alone would logically prevent you from entering.

Grand National crowd

Then we get “I’ve been with these animals for the last 40 years, and my life would not be as good without them” Ah ! Now we understand. So this is evidently all about YOU, and your life – your well-being. I wonder if you ever asked yourself the question of whether the horse’s life might be better without you?

Then, after an arrogant aside about the protesters not deserving to be heard, the genius in the middle comes up with the astonishing assertion that “You know, horses have a purpose in life” ! Wow ! So what would that purpose be ? Oh yes – to risk their lives entertaining humans and making them money ? It never occurred to you that perhaps their purpose in life might be to be free? Free from slavery, coercion, and unnecessary physical and mental pain ? A hundred years ago people depended on horses to get around ! Yes, and that was then and this is now. A change is obviously long overdue.

Finally, after a fatuous exchange about the idea of some old lady taking a horse home to her back garden, this chap says that he will go home in the morning and muck out his horse and care for him, etc. Well, the owner of the horse named Hill 16 will not be doing that – not tomorrow morning, not ever. Why? Because he entered his horse in a race in which his chances of thriving were vanishingly small ( just look at the odds) and, as should have been anticipated by a man who cared, the poor horse fell to his death at the very first hurdle. What was the owner thinking ? A shameful day.

Commentator mischievously implied protesters putting horses at risk

This second small clip is pure irony. The commentator has mischievously implied that the protesters are putting the horses at risk, and has cast the police and security people as heroes. He then, memorably, pronounces “This race will not be run while there is any danger to any of the participants.” How wrong that turned out to be.
I believe questions must now be asked in the House after this particularly black day, as to whether the Grand National should be allowed to proceed. I believe the Grand National will now be condemned to death unless it immediately cleans up its act. The simple act of removing the hurdles from the course would dramatically lessen the danger to all horses. And the sad spectacle of this outdated carnage will be rightly consigned to history.