Animal Aid

Animal Aid brings Grand National protest to the people of Liverpool

Posted 31 March 2010

To mark Horse Racing Awareness Week, national campaign group Animal Aid has posted a street billboard in Liverpool city centre that reveals the lethal reality of the world-famous Aintree Grand National meeting. 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 killed at the 3-day Aintree meeting 1999-2009
Don’t Bet on the Grand National’

The Grand National itself is a deliberately punishing and hazardous event. Of the forty horses who usually take part, only one third are likely to finish. Last year, 8-year-old Hear The Echo collapsed and died close to the finish line. Four other horses perished during the meeting.

Horse Racing Awareness Week runs from 4-10 April and supporters of Animal Aid will take their message to the streets, asking Grand National punters to withhold their betting money and attendance fees.

Additionally, a mass protest is due to take place at the gates of the Aintree Racecourse on the day of the Grand National race (10 April).

Says Andrew Tyler, Director of Animal Aid:

‘The Grand National is a perverse and sick oddity that causes enormous unnecessary suffering to the conscripted horses, and should be banned. 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. Behind the backslapping, cheers and big money deals is a story of horse exploitation and death.’

Notes to editors:

  • Animal Aid’s Horse Racing Awareness Week begins on Sunday 4 April and reaches its climax on the day of the notorious Grand National race, on 10 April.
  • A dedicated website ( has been specially created to tie-in with the billboard, and visitors can view our powerful 90-second viral film, which shows the reality of deaths on British racecourses.
  • Of the approximately 18,000 horses bred each year by the closely related British and Irish racing industries, only around 40% go on to race. Unique research by Animal Aid demonstrates that a horse dies on a British racecourse approximately every other day, typically from: a broken limb or neck; severe tendon injuries; spinal injuries; or a heart attack. Around 7,500 British Thoroughbreds leave racing each year, yet very few are properly provided for. Many end up slaughtered for meat.

More information:

  • For full background and interviews, contact Andrew Tyler or Dene Stansall on 01732 364546.
  • ISDN line available for broadcast-quality interviews.
  • Images are available on request.

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