From: Keith Handley, Scotland Way, Horsforth, Leeds.
IT appears that the racing industry is unconvinced about the inherent cruelty of the Grand National and have little intention of changing anything in spite of two further deaths in this year’s race.
Every year the same pious statements are trotted out that they are improving the race conditions and that nothing like this year’s carnage will ever happen again, then they keep their heads down and the issue passes away for another year.
I am heartily sick of seeing the winning horse’s connections being interviewed after the race and their obvious unconcern about the cruelty and carnage that has just occurred in the name of steeplechase racing.
Here are four practical changes which would easily make the race safer – the field of more than 40 horses should be reduced to about a dozen; the race should be shortened from its present distance of more than four miles to three miles; the number of fences should be reduced and all fences should have equal take off and landing sides.
How about this for an idea to “persuade” the racing industry to get their house in order – every time that a horse has to be destroyed after falling, the race is declared null and void, there is no prize money awarded and all bets are off.
That would soon get things changed for the better.
From: Ken Holmes, Cliffe Common, Selby.
WE racing people are crestfallen, and heartbroken, at the death of two of our dear racehorse friends, Synchronised and According To Pete in the recent Grand National.
Stable lads and lassies, owners, trainers and jockeys, plus racecourse managers and their hard-working staff, are all passionate about the safety and welfare of racehorses.
The BHA and their own vets are doing their level best to ensure that accidents are kept to an absolute minimum.
So the sooner the busybodies like Animal Aid and the RSPCA get out of their hair and are sent packing the better for all concerned, including our beloved racehorses.