View Full Version : So Sad - Two horses die at Grand National Steeplechase

Apr. 9, 2011, 07:53 PM
Two horses have died following the Grand National steeplechase in England.

The horse Ornais reportedly died after falling at the fourth fence, while Dooneys Gate died from injuries after he fell at the fence known as Beecher's Brook as the Aintree racecourse near Liverpool.

A statement from the League Against Cruel Sports called the race "ritualized animal cruelty" and said "everyone involved should be thoroughly ashamed."

Trainer Donald McCain followed his father, Ginger, into Grand National folklore by winning the world famous steeplechase with Ballabriggs. Ridden by Jason Maguire, Ballabriggs held off the strong challenge of amateur Sam Waley-Cohen on Oscar Time to win by two and a quarter lengths. Last year’s winner Don’t Push It was third.

The League Against Cruel Sports, which has called for an end to the race, also alleged Ballabriggs was "seriously dehydrated" following the race.

The U.K. group Animal Aid said just 19 of the 40 horses finished the race. The two deaths brings to 20 the number of horses who have died on the course since 2000, the group said.

"The public has been conned into believing that the Grand National is a great sporting spectacle when, in reality, it is straightforward animal abuse that is on a par with Spanish bullfighting," Animal Aid director Andrew Tyler said in a statement on the group's website.

- with files from Reuters

Apr. 12, 2011, 11:56 AM
I have to admit that I was shocked when I read about how many horses die in an average year at the Grand National. I did some research and wrote an article about what I found and how I feel about it on my blog (http://donkeysense.blogspot.com/2011/04/three-horses-die-during-englands-grand.html). It's far too long to post here, but you can read it by following the link:


Apr. 12, 2011, 12:30 PM
ZhiZhu, you might want to see the reply to you in the thread, and consider editing to get your facts straight. This is the first time horses have died in the Grand National since 2003.

Apr. 12, 2011, 01:49 PM
Danceronice, if you read my blog post more carefully, you will see that I am including all horses that died during all three days of the Grand National or because of injuries sustained during the three day event. However, even if you are only counting the final race, horses have died since 2003. In 2006 Tyneandthyneagain died after falling at the first fence in the main race. In 2007, Graphic Approach died because of injuries sustained at the Becher's Brook fence during the final race. And in 2009, Hear The Echo collapsed and died following the main race.

Please refer to:
You will need to scroll down a ways.

See also:

Apr. 17, 2011, 08:59 PM
Danceronice, why don't you comment on the horses deaths and the severity of the race? It is barbaric, the only more barbaric race is one that used to be and (may still be held in Poland). I know it was romanticized in National Velvet and all that but really. Quibbling over stats is just that.

Apr. 18, 2011, 03:14 PM
An update: Two more have died in Scotland's Grand National:

Two More Die at Grand National (http://www.barnmice.com/group/barnmicenews/forum/topics/horse-racing-safety-two-more)

This race could be improved for safety in so many ways. But then you have to look at even more barbaric races like the Annual Omak Suicide Race in Omak, Washington, USA. Defenders of the race claim it's a "Native American Tradition", but my uncle is full-blood Omak and will very much tell you otherwise. Sad, the things we do for entertainment.

I'd be A.O.K. with jump races if they weren't so absolutely grueling. But.. bring the pack down from 40 to 12 and take away the jumps and distance; what do you have? Flat racing. Is anyone happy still? No. Tough call.

Apr. 18, 2011, 03:43 PM
The drama here is trying to blow things out of proportion.

I recall when a local newscaster was parachutting and his chute didnt open....... or at Balmoral, another case of domestic violence takes a womans life, and that 50% of pregnant women who die, die at the hands of their SO.. deaths that far outnumber horse deaths........or rider deaths in eventing.

To sensationalize the traumas and dramas is sad in itself.
Life happens, s*it happens, and life goes on.

Sport is that, sport. Day to day living is fraught with death incidences...shall we all hide in the corner?
but then, a tornado or radioactive rain from Japan may get us.

My opinion and I stand by it.

Apr. 18, 2011, 04:20 PM
Well, they die in short little flat races too ...

But look at Red Rum and Golden Miller.

Horses can die in the pasture.