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To be dreading the grand national on Saturday?

(293 Posts)
annabanana84 Wed 03-Apr-13 15:41:57

once again the grand national has come around, and to say I despise it is an understatement. The fact that people race these poor horses for entertainment and money really defies belief. The way those poor horses get whipped, exhausted and there is not a year goes by that we hear of deaths or the animals having to be put to sleep because of them breaking their necks, backs, or other injuries. I so dread it. You can't even get away from hearing about the deaths because it's broadcast on every news programme.

montysma1 Thu 04-Apr-13 19:45:59

Careful there livid, stating the stark reality of the racing industry is not allowed, only stories of idyllic racehorse retirement is acceptable.

A person involved with horses who loathes equestrian sport, absolutely not., You are of course lying and have never been near a horse, you sentimental uninformed ignoramus you.

Failedhippy Thu 04-Apr-13 20:03:02

Totally agree its barbaric!

jennywren45 Thu 04-Apr-13 20:05:48

What do those of you who have horses but loathe equestrian sport do with your horses? Seriously? What do you do with them?

jennywren45 Thu 04-Apr-13 20:07:39

As an anecdotal aside, I retired my old 26 year old mare last summer. After two months she started jumping my fencing in the fields no matter which field she was put in. So, I brought her back into work slowly and now she is hacking and show jumping and doing a bit of x country again and no more field fences jumped!

Twattybollocks Thu 04-Apr-13 20:37:37

My mates horse dropped dead of a heart attack a couple of years ago, she was bathing him ready for a show. A more pampered and loved horse I have never met. He was standing tied up at a post, in perfect health, only 8 years old. She went to get the bucket and shampoo out of the tack room and when she came back he was on the floor and past any help she could give him except to hold his head. It happens sometimes.
Athletes in peak condition do occasionally suffer heart attacks, like the tragic case of the footballer the other weekend. Cruelty isn't a word id use to describe it.
Horse showing does have a decidedly dodgy record for cruelty but thankfully the sport has cleaned up its act enormously over the past decade. Still a way to go though, and dressage has some decidedly dodgy practices. Of all the equestrian disciplines showing and dressage are probably the worst in terms of the horses having an unnatural lifestyle, especially at top level, just because the horse doesn't die whilst competing its not as visible.
I do find it hard to get my knickers in a twist about 40 odd very well looked after horses being asked to take big risks for 5 minutes every year when every day thousands of dogs are incarcerated in puppy farms living in cages sitting in their own shit, rabbits living in solitary confinement in tiny hutches with their only contact with another living creature being someone putting food and water in their cage every day, etc etc, thousands of horses being transported in terrible conditions for slaughter with no food or water for days at a time. There are many welfare issues which require more urgent action than the grand national I'm afraid, but rather like fox hunting which caused the necessary deaths of a few hundred foxes a season, because the grand national is televised and people know about it, we are all getting worked up about it. That's not to say it isn't important, and the lives of a few horses aren't worth anything, but in comparison to the cruelty going on silently all around us, it's small fry really.

countrykitten Thu 04-Apr-13 20:52:52

I would take issue with you that those foxes deaths are 'necessary' but not for this thread.

jennywren45 Thu 04-Apr-13 21:17:05

twattybollocks never was a post less bollocks. I wholeheartedly agree. And about the hunting too. Not that anyone has actually stopped hunting, of course.

FrankellyMyDearIDontGiveADamn Thu 04-Apr-13 21:56:24

I do acknowledge that racing has a PR problem. For too long the racecourses have tried to appeal to the stag do/corporate market, rather than those of us how attend for the love of the sport and the horse.

The Grand National is not representative of our industry (and I'm not here to defend the race, I'm here to defend the sport as a whole).

What is representative of our sport is:

Frankel destroying the 2,000 Guineas field


Sprinter Sacre's Champion Chase procession

EnlightenedOwl Thu 04-Apr-13 22:00:43

And Sea the Stars winning the Arc.

Don't miss Sprinter Sacre tomorrow - going to be a great race.

Katie Walsh has left this message on twitter -Very sad to lose Battlefront today. We had many great days and he was a great teacher. He was a gent and I will miss him very much!

Lovely tribute - the horse belonged to her mum - they'll be feeling it tonight I think.

FrankellyMyDearIDontGiveADamn Thu 04-Apr-13 22:08:47

How could I forget Sea at he Stars Arc?! I cried after the race! What a horse! Can't wait for his first two year olds to hit the racecourse this year.

Tomorrows race will be the best of the Jumps season: Sprinter Sacre v Cue Card v Flemenstar shock

The Walsh's are some family: Ruby a champion jockey, Katie a top lady jockey and blossoming sales consignor, Ted a great trainer and their other sister acts as PA for all of them!

jennywren45 Thu 04-Apr-13 22:12:23

God, it's so exciting!! Shame I have to do the horses, could spend all day glued !

Saturday at 1 pm I am out torturing my horses like the unfeeling bastard I am competing so will have to watch on Skyplus!

EnlightenedOwl Thu 04-Apr-13 22:14:30

Don't forget Nina Carberry married Ted Walsh (jnr) thus linking the two racing families - Walsh & Carberry
Great stuff.

jennywren45 Thu 04-Apr-13 22:16:37

As if we could!! grin

I'm just so excited at the thought that we could have our first ever woman winner!!!

FrankellyMyDearIDontGiveADamn Thu 04-Apr-13 22:16:55

Nina broke her collarbone at Thurles today, ouch! Young Tom Bellamy also broke his leg at Taunton too.

However, it's all in perspective when you look at poor J T McNamara sad

EnlightenedOwl Thu 04-Apr-13 22:20:07

Yes I know its pretty grim. Its a tough sport. Did you see the gesture Michael O'Leary made last week £200,000 Euro into the fund for JT?
Racing does look after its own - the Turf Club for Ireland will pay all his medical bills and the IJF is assisting the family.

FrankellyMyDearIDontGiveADamn Thu 04-Apr-13 22:22:53

The camaraderie between the lads, and lasses, in the weighing room is unmatched in any other sport. They all know that it's a case of "there but for the grace of god". After all, how many other sports see the competitors followed by an ambulance?

EnlightenedOwl Thu 04-Apr-13 22:24:47

Don't know if you watched the racing from Aintree today? Great interview with Jonjo O'Neill - a real horseman - talked a bit about the old days, Dawn Run, Night Nurse, and one of my early favourites Sea Pigeon.

hopipolla Thu 04-Apr-13 22:25:00

Its always sad to see a horse die but how do people who feel that racing horses for entertainment reconcile killing animals for meat or the death of animals to facilitate the consumptive practices of the developed world.

EnlightenedOwl Thu 04-Apr-13 22:26:22

I'm sorry I really don't mean to be dense but I don't understand?

hopipolla Thu 04-Apr-13 22:34:15


people who feel that racing horses for entertainment is barbaric reconcile killing animals for meat or the death of animals to facilitate the consumptive practices of the developed world in their minds

FrankellyMyDearIDontGiveADamn Thu 04-Apr-13 22:53:54

Interesting looking programme on Channel 4 tomorrow night. It's a follow up to the "Inside Nature's Giants" they did about racehorses last year.

hopipolla Thu 04-Apr-13 22:56:33

Does look good, have to say I think the quality of coverage C4 are giving racing at the moment is streets ahead of what the BBC used to produce.

FrankellyMyDearIDontGiveADamn Thu 04-Apr-13 23:26:02

If you have time on your hands and a Frankel addiction like me, you could spend hours watching these videos. I love the most recent one of the boys being exercised - I used to work with the man who's not wearing a hat grin

musicismylife Thu 04-Apr-13 23:27:56

Can't stand this "If you've got a headache, I've got two".

So if you have a horse, your opinion holds more weight? I have a lot of childless friends who have been devastated by the recent news of those poor children dying. Does their compassion not mean as much as mine because I have children?

Panzee Fri 05-Apr-13 04:05:17

hoipoloi I reconcile it by saying that breeding animals for food is making better use of them than racing them just to gamble. If it wasn't for gambling horse racing wouldn't exist.

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