Animal Aid

Grand National : The two favourites are raced to death

Posted 20 March 2007

With the notorious Grand National just a few weeks away, the joint favourites to win the race have both been destroyed within days of each other. Both deaths pose important questions for the racing authorities.

Little Brick shattered a shoulder while racing at last week’s Cheltenham Festival. He was one of two fatalities at the four-day meeting. Little Brick had never been tested on a course as difficult as Cheltenham’s and had recently returned from a racecourse absence of 490 days. Was this absence caused by injury and was he still suffering its effects?

Nil Desperandum was destroyed on Saturday after breaking a hind leg during the gruelling 4 mile John Smith’s Midland’s Grand National at Uttoxeter. He was racing just two weeks after being entered into another punishing 4 mile event. Had he recovered sufficiently? Or was the decision to enter him into the Uttoxeter race governed by the prize money on offer?

We now see that horses not only routinely die while racing in the Grand National but they also perish as their owners prepare them for an event that should have long ago been banned.

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