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Posted 4 April 2002
Desert Mountain and Anubis Quercus - first casualties of Aintree meet
Desert Mountain fractured his shoulder running in today's 3.10 pm Red Rum Handicap Chase at Aintree and was shot dead behind green screens. Within the hour, Anubis Quercus broke his neck on the Grand National course while being ridden by an amateur jockey. Both these tragedies rated barely a sentence by the BBC TV's racing team, which was screening the first day's racing of the three-day Aintree meeting.
The deaths of Desert Mountain and Anubis Quercus bring to 25 the total number of horses who have perished at the Aintree meet since 1997. Last year The Outback Way died. Five horses were killed in 2000.
Animal Aid laments the needless loss of two more magnificent animals at Aintree and calls for the organisers to be prosecuted under the 1911 Protection of Animals Act, which makes it an offence to subject animals to unnecessary suffering.
The national pressure group Animal Aid will be staging a large-scale demonstration at this Saturday's Grand National, with protesters coming from around the country. It will be the first major demo in memory to be organised by a national animal rights group at the Aintree course. A one minute's silence will be called before the National in memory of Desert Mountain, Anubis Quercus and all the other equine victims of the Aintree meet.
In the run-up to the Saturday protest, dozens of betting shop demonstrations are being staged around the country. 'One Foot in the Grave' star, Richard Wilson, and comedian/actor, Alan Davies, have added their support to the Animal Aid protests. Messages of encouragement have also been received from animal protection groups in Germany, Spain, Belgium, France, Norway, Switzerland, Russia and Italy.
See Horse Racing Awareness Week for the full background.
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