Why I dread this time of year

From: Dawn Biram

Sheffield S17

It is a time of year I dread: the inescapable glorified promotion of the Grand National horserace will soon be starting on the BBC. We are told how much we are all looking forward to the party- some party. Horse death is a foregone conclusion at Aintree. The BBC was criticised last year as they interviewed the stag party goers and the ladies in silly hats, but avoided reporting the horse deaths, describing the still mounds on the grass, covered in sheets, as mere obstacles.

Last year two horses died in the race and even the poor horse that won could not make it into the winner’s enclosure after being excessively whipped to victory in the heat. A total of 5 horses died during the three-day meeting. Only a fraction of the runners starting out complete the gruelling course. A particular danger in the Grand National is that so many frightened horses that have already taken a fall, try by instinct to stay with the rest of the herd. They swerve to avoid fences, often bringing down more horses that are still being driven by their jockeys.

Of the 18,000 foals bred into the British and Irish racing industry, many will not make the grade and could end up being slaughtered for meat. Please don’t let your money this year prop up this cruel spectacle. Instead, why not put your money onto a sure winner and give your bet to a horse sanctuary. For more details go to www.animalaid.org.uk