aibu to HATE the bloody Grand National....

(109 Posts)
ThatVikRinA22 Sat 05-Apr-14 02:13:59

i cant watch.
i refuse to watch.
cruel horrendous barbaric stupid race. and for what?

hate the fucking thing. wish it was banned.

saintmerryweather Sun 06-Apr-14 07:41:44

The horses love it. As Battlegroup showed they can refuse to race, and plenty of jockeys chose not to push their horses and pulled them up.

fayrae Sun 06-Apr-14 00:13:54

Why on earth would a particular horse race be banned? It'd be like banning the FA cup final or Wimbledon, but not banning football or tennis.

MistressDeeCee Sat 05-Apr-14 23:20:07

I don't like or watch it. I feel sorry for the horses.

guineapig2014 Sat 05-Apr-14 23:01:58

No YADNBU OP it is awful and cruel sad to the poor animals. Dd and I both had our hands over our eyes when dh and ds were watching it. If you ask me I think it will be banned in a few years.

Mrsmorton Sat 05-Apr-14 22:55:49

I love that story fumble thank you smile

We do all love our horses so very much.

Allofaflumble Sat 05-Apr-14 22:13:20

I was so glad to be able to share it with you. The people in my life think I am quite mad!

Bearbehind Sat 05-Apr-14 22:05:55

Jeez, if you lot want to fight over whether being in the top 10% makes a horse, good, great or top flight then fill your boots.

The point I was making was that if it wasn't for racing, these horses wouldn't exist and those who disagree with horse racing have no right to such views unless they abstain from eating meat/ wearing leather/ having pets/ visiting zoos etc.

SelectAUserName Sat 05-Apr-14 21:59:47

Or what Frankel said more succinctly grin

Allofaflumble, thanks for sharing that great example.

Bowlersarm Sat 05-Apr-14 21:58:03

That's a lovely story allofaflumble

SelectAUserName Sat 05-Apr-14 21:56:10

It's a complicated thing to quantify, which is why there is an entire industry built entirely around allocating every racehorse a rating. The Grand National is unique in that it is about half a mile longer than any other race in the fixture list, so the horses who take part - especially the ones who come back year after year - tend to be rather 'niche' performers, and in the main tend not to have the speed required to make them competitive in the Grade 1 & 2 races which are all over much shorter distances. The Gold Cup, the top-rated race for staying chasers, is run over 3m2f so over a mile shorter than the National, the second-most prestigious graded chase, the King George, is 3 miles and the Queen Mother Champion Chase, the real 'speedster' steeplechase, is over the minimum jumps distance of 2 miles.

In general, the graded race winners are rated higher, i.e. better, than the majority of National competitors, because of the way racing is organised so that more of an emphasis is on speed, or a blend of speed and stamina, than it is on pure stamina.

As a comparison, this year's Cheltenham Gold Cup winner has a current official chase rating of 165. Pineau de Re, today's GN winner, has an official chase rating of 143. Each point on the rating scale equates to a pound in weight. This means that if they met in a race, the Gold Cup winner would have to carry 22lbs more than the Grand National winner, as he is rated 22lbs better. And this year's Gold Cup winner is not considered a particularly brilliant winner compared to previous champions such as Kauto Star (rated 190 at his peak) or Denman.

So on balance, I'd agree that within the context of ratings and the hierarchy of races as both are understood within racing, Grand National winners are "good to very good" rather than "top flight". There are exceptions of course, and I'd say Long Run and Tidal Bay, who ran in today's race, were definitely 'top flight' at their peak, but are on the downgrade now.

elastamum Sat 05-Apr-14 21:55:37

If it makes you feel any better I have just done a count and there are 12 ex racehorses, including one of mine all living quite happily in the livery yard where I keep mine. Most were given away on retirement from racing and are hacking, doing dressage and showing. A couple are in their twenties and enjoying their retirement. There are still a lot of people out there happy to take them on.

Allofaflumble Sat 05-Apr-14 21:55:35

This is not strictly about the GN but I would like to share with you about how in my experience the trainer and owner of a horse care about it very much.

In 2011 I watched a horse race on tv which was being held at Exeter. A horse fell and I got so upset I could not stop thinking about it! In the end I found out the name of the trainer and then emailed his secretary to enquire after the horse. I feared it may have died.

I was told he was fine and recovering nicely. He went on to fall again at the next meeting. I thought he would be mincemeat and hardly dared find out. When I again enquired I was told that he was ok.

Then I think he sustained an injury and I read that the trainer said it was touch and go but they had sent him to a vetinary hospital and with the best treatment they hoped he would recover.

When I next enquired how he was I was told his owner had taken him back for a summer vacation.

Imagine my delight to read that on his return this horse had come first in a race. He then went on to run a terrible race at Cheltenham. Then he had another 1st out of 4 horses and a few 5th places etc.

The point is that this horse has made neither trainer nor owner a heap of money. I follow any news of him I can. The secretary told me that his owner loves her horses and is very patient with them.

I know some horses may not be so lucky but I just wanted to let you know this true story. I will forever have a bond with this horse which is beyond explanation and it seems I am not alone in caring very much about him!

FrankelandFilly Sat 05-Apr-14 21:48:16

As others have said the Grand National is not considered a top level race. A top level race is a Group 1 like the Derby, the Arc, the July Cup, the Gold Cup, the Champion Hurdle, etc.

The GN is a handicap which means horses are weighted according to ability. Whilst there are often some very good horses in the field, like Long Run though he is past his best, the majority would be best described as decent racehorses, not great ones.

Bearbehind Sat 05-Apr-14 21:43:34

If you can argue that any horse in the GN today is not in the top 10% of all horses in the world I'll gladly apologise. If not, I ascert that these horses are 'top flight'.

Bearbehind Sat 05-Apr-14 21:40:30

Ok select but any horse capable of competing at that level can't just be defined as 'good'. It has to be 'top flight' by definition.

Anyway, you me and melonade are actually arguing on the same side.

This is an argument about horse racing, and in particular the Grand national, and no one who disagrees with it has actually said they boycott all animal products etc which makes any argument they have, extremely dubious.

Melonade Sat 05-Apr-14 21:38:20

I admire your enthusiasm for the Grand National BearBehind but it is a long distance handicap race. Not a Championship race run at level weights. The best two horses in it were Long Run, who has won a Cheltenham Gold Cup, and Tidal Bay, who won the Lexus Chase. The top flight horses tend to run and be placed in shorter Championship races at level weights.

SelectAUserName Sat 05-Apr-14 21:35:13

To be fair Bear, Melonade is correct. The Grand National is a handicap, so the very very best horses - the current Gold Cup winner, the winners of other Grade 1 races this season - tend not to run in it because they would be given too much weight in relation to the other horses, because they're so much better.

The Grand National is the most famous race in the world, and one of the most challenging in terms of stamina, but it is not the "best" in terms of the participants being the highest-rated or in terms of pure 'quality' as it is measured by those who quantify such things in racing.

Bearbehind Sat 05-Apr-14 21:31:06

ODOF melonade these were the 40 best jump horses in the world otherwise they wouldn't have been there.

In my book that makes them 'top flight'.

Melonade Sat 05-Apr-14 21:27:50

Err bearbehind something a Grade 1 or 2 winner, such as Long Run or Tidal Bay.

Bearbehind Sat 05-Apr-14 21:26:15

Sorry melonade I didn't realise that qualifying for the GN made a horse just 'good' rather than 'top flight'

I'd love to hear your list of what you'd define as a 'top flight horse'.

Melonade Sat 05-Apr-14 21:24:53

To be fair though Select, Re-training of Racehorses classes at local shows are The Thing right now. They are the fullest classes and increasing all the time, compared to the Hunters and certainly the Hacks. Some shows are even having to run two divisions.

Melonade Sat 05-Apr-14 21:22:43

Anyway, a quick look at Battle Group's record, with 8 wins from 20 starts and only a 9 year old - I wouldn't fear too much for his future. While he's still a good horse, he's not a top flight horse by any means, but he is decent. His last 4 runs suggest he has lost a bit of enthusiasm or confidence, and its a trainer's job to think of ways to solve that, either time off or a different regime, sending him hurdling, checking for ulcers, bone scans, whatever. He could be sold, but I think he would be in quite a lot of demand as he has a good record prior to his last 4 months.

Horses are machines, and sometimes they just don't want to race. It doesn't mean they will be marched off to the slaughterhouse.

SelectAUserName Sat 05-Apr-14 21:20:15

One of the reasons more riders don't take on ex-racehorses is because there is a belief that to compete in dressage - the fastest-growing equestrian sport - you need a particular breed; a Warmblood. If you're aiming for the Olympics that's probably the case, but most amateur riders will do well if they make it to Medium level, and any basically well-put-together horse is capable of performing a neat and accurate dressage test at the levels below Medium (at least) if schooled and ridden competently.

So we have this bizarre situation where there are thousands of racehorses leaving racing who would, with a bit of time and schooling, be perfectly capable of making good amateur dressage horses, but a fair proportion of those amateur riders head off to Germany and Holland instead to buy second-rate Warmbloods, many of which they struggle with because of their excitable natures even worse than a Thoroughbred's, or who go lame because of the way Dutch horses in particular are being bred.

We need to highlight the versatility of the Thoroughbred much more, which is why it's great that former Grand National winner Neptunes Collonges is now competing (and winning) at low level amateur dressage, and the greatest steeplechaser of my lifetime, Kauto Star, is also being re-schooled for dressage.

TeaAndALemonTart Sat 05-Apr-14 21:18:27

Ah fuck it.

The nag I bet on is still running I think, it was fucking useless but if it turns up here tomorrow it can live in my garden.

Bearbehind Sat 05-Apr-14 21:13:54

Please tell me where exactly I was 'telling people who have horses what to do ' melonade

I expressed a concern for a top flight race horse which failed to actually race.

I don't disagree with the principle of racing at all. I do disagree with those who are so hypocritical to insist the Grand National is barbaric whilst seeing no irony in having leather shoes or eating meat.

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