Animal rights activists disrupted day three of the Grand National horse race at Aintree Racecourse, calling for an end to the “cruel” sporting event.
Protesters associated with the activist groups Animal Aid and Animal Rising descended on the Aintree Racecourse this weekend, storming fences and running across the grounds to delay events. For a brief period of time, protesters even managed to shut down the highway leading to the race track. The deaths of three horses this week spurred the protests.
“Innocent racehorses’ lives taken from them in the name of entertainment and gambling,” said activist Dene Stansall, as reported by Outkick. “Aintree, the worst of all racecourses, is a disgrace, and the Jockey Club and British racing should hang their hands in utter shame at what we have seen over the past three days.”
VIDEO: Animal rights protesters close M57 Northbound (Liverpool Outer Ring Road). pic.twitter.com/gv01yhlSts #GrandNational2023 #Aintree #Liverpool #M57 #TomorrowsPapersToday
— Manchester Chronicle 🐝 (@WithyGrove) April 15, 2023
Today hundreds of incredibly brave animal lovers took direct action in the name of Animal Rising to protect the horses at Aintree.
Supporters managed to get onto the track and delay proceedings, making headlines around the world. Subsequently, people all over the UK are having… pic.twitter.com/0vQ6auleYP
— Animal Rising (@AnimalRising) April 15, 2023
It wasn’t just the horses that were doing the running at today’s Grand National at Aintree Racecourse.
Animal Rights protesters attempted but failed to stop proceedings which again resulted in the death of yet another horse. pic.twitter.com/ZV0y6mBUti
— UK Justice Forum Latest Video News Updates! (@Justice_forum) April 15, 2023
Julie Harrington, CEO of the British Horseracing Authority, denounced the protesters for their “reckless and potentially harmful actions.”
“We respect the right of anyone to hold views about our sport but we robustly condemn the reckless and potentially harmful actions of a handful of people in disrupting the race at a time when horses were in the parade ring,” Harrington said.
Harrington said that the deaths of the three horses, which spurred the protests, will be reviewed and investigated.
“Our thoughts are with everyone connected to the horses who suffered fatal injuries this week,” Harrington said. “No one will be more affected by this news than the trainers, owners and stable staff who have provided these horses with first-class care and attention throughout their lives.
“The BHA and Aintree racecourse will now analyze the races in painstaking detail, as is the case every year, to build on our existing data and help us understand what caused these incidents.”
Animal rights activists have routinely denounced horse racing, decrying it as an outdated and cruel practice that exploits animals and unnecessarily puts them in danger. In 2021, PETA erected a giant billboard ahead of the Kentucky Derby encouraging people to practice “moral distancing” – an allusion to “social distancing.”
“Now that we’re all pros at social distancing in order to help keep other humans alive, it’s time to widen our circle of compassion by practicing moral distancing to keep horses alive,” the organization said at the time. “PETA wants everyone to stay away from the Kentucky Derby—and we’re driving our message home with a mobile billboard circling in front of the racetrack’s entrance.”
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