Animal Aid

Graphic Billboard Spells Out Deadly Reality of the Grand National

Posted 24 March 2010

Animal Aid is to post a street billboard in Liverpool city centre that reveals the lethal reality of the world-famous Aintree Grand National meeting.

It is rarely reported that Thoroughbreds routinely die at the event. Last year, five horses perished.

The Animal Aid billboard – on Ranelagh Street, close to Liverpool Central station – features a stark image of a fallen horse and the words:
National Disgrace
30 horses died at the 3-day Aintree meeting 1999-2009
Don’t Bet on the Grand National

Animal Aid’s experience is that when the public, including even veteran punters, discover just how often horses die at Aintree, they are shocked and often feel angry that the news has been kept from them.

The Ranelagh Street poster will bring home to the people of Liverpool that behind the backslapping, cheers and big money deals is a story of horse exploitation and death.

A special website ( has been created by Animal Aid to tie-in with the billboard. Visitors can view our powerful 90-second viral film, which shows the reality of deaths on British racecourses.

Says Andrew Tyler, Director of Animal Aid:

‘The Aintree three-day meeting is not something for the people of Liverpool to celebrate. The event’s organisers think that they can kill horses with impunity in the name of ‘sport’. But there is nothing sporting about the Grand National – it embodies everything that is unsporting as well as cruel. When a horse dies, it is not an unfortunate ‘accident’ but a predictable outcome of an event that is unacceptably hazardous for all the equine participants. While the jockeys can select to take part, the horses have no choice – and it is the horses who routinely come to grief, not those who ride them.’

More information:

Notes to editors:

  • Animal Aid’s Horse Racing Awareness Week – seven days of campaigning and awareness raising – runs from 4-10 April 2010.
  • View our powerful 90-second web film at
  • Of the approximately 18,000 horses bred each year by the closely related British and Irish racing industries, only around 40 per cent go on to race. Many of the ‘low quality’ newborns are destroyed, while those who do enter racing suffer a high level of fatal injuries and stress-related illnesses, such as gastric ulcers and bleeding lungs. Around 7,500 race horses leave British racing each year, yet very few go on to a sanctuary or adoptive home.

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