Letter: National carnage

Click to follow
The Independent Online
National carnage


THE "thrilling" spectacle of the Grand National has once again claimed lives ("Time to curb racecourse carnage?" 6 April), providing yet more evidence for the oft-repeated assertion that this race is dangerous for its participants.

Apologists for the race use its dangers to point up the bravery and skill of both horses and riders, and one could almost believe that their involvement in, and acceptance of, the risks is on an equal footing. This is clearly not the case. Jockeys can give their consent to the risks, but horses cannot, and theirs is the more dangerous part of the enterprise, for it is horses who die in the National, not jockeys. We believe that it is immoral to expose for trivial reasons any living creature to the risk of death or injury, and no reason is more trivial than to give entertainment to a baying crowd. These animals are truly "Butcher'd to make a Roman holiday", and it is time for this cruel race to be stopped.