Author Topic: Time to call a halt to the Grand National?  (Read 13260 times)

Re: Time to call a halt to the Grand National?
« Reply #175 on: April 08, 2013, 04:38:58 pm »
Left to themselves, bears don't dance.

Left to themselves, horses race each other.



Not to say I'm in favour of the grand national. There are two major problems (ignoring exploitation of animals):

1) Size of field (the GN has a large field, increasing the chances of a collision and fall)

2) Health of the horses.

Going back 20 years, my dad was of the opinion that people were breeding horses with weaker and weaker legs. He wasn't alone in his opinion and matters haven't improved. He *loved* horse racing and thought that something was very wrong with the way the industry was run.
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clarion

  • Tyke
Re: Time to call a halt to the Grand National?
« Reply #176 on: April 08, 2013, 04:53:35 pm »
Left to themselves, dogs fight.  Perhaps we should rehabilitate that as a sport?

But you are right about the other problems of the GN.
Getting there...

Euan Uzami

Re: Time to call a halt to the Grand National?
« Reply #177 on: April 08, 2013, 05:00:22 pm »
Don't get me wrong I don't think it's without problems, but I think it's a bit incorrect to say they "don't have a choice". They do.
And I don't personally think boycotting it is a particularly mature response to feeling that animal welfare could be improved. If I want animal welfare improved, I might do better to campaign, or write to an MP, or do something else to highlight the issue, rather than pretending that as long as I'm shutting my eyes and ears to it that everything's OK and that it doesn't exist.

Re: Time to call a halt to the Grand National?
« Reply #178 on: April 08, 2013, 06:05:46 pm »
Don't get me wrong I don't think it's without problems, but I think it's a bit incorrect to say they "don't have a choice". They do.
And I don't personally think boycotting it is a particularly mature response to feeling that animal welfare could be improved. If I want animal welfare improved, I might do better to campaign, or write to an MP, or do something else to highlight the issue, rather than pretending that as long as I'm shutting my eyes and ears to it that everything's OK and that it doesn't exist.

Ben, don't you think it' possible that people boycott and campaign?

Re: Time to call a halt to the Grand National?
« Reply #179 on: April 09, 2013, 09:29:33 am »
Left to themselves, dogs fight.  Perhaps we should rehabilitate that as a sport?

Actually, I find the comparison with dog fighting quite reasonable.

We (rightly) regard breeding dogs to fight as barbaric. Docking ears, breeding thick skin etc without regard to the dog's health is also barbaric.

So why are people allowed to breed horses without regard for their welfare, just so there is a (remote) chance they might run faster round a track (unless they break a leg doing it)?


In a multi-sport race I used to take part in (team race, canoeing, running, swimming, horse riding), the horses had to pass a vet check after finishing. If visibly distressed, if heart rate didn't come down in a set time, then the horse/rider (and their team) were disqualified. This was brought in because without this rule, horses would run themselves to death (or be pushed so by their riders).
I believe this sort of check is common in endurance events.
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Euan Uzami

Re: Time to call a halt to the Grand National?
« Reply #180 on: April 09, 2013, 09:50:28 pm »
Don't get me wrong I don't think it's without problems, but I think it's a bit incorrect to say they "don't have a choice". They do.
And I don't personally think boycotting it is a particularly mature response to feeling that animal welfare could be improved. If I want animal welfare improved, I might do better to campaign, or write to an MP, or do something else to highlight the issue, rather than pretending that as long as I'm shutting my eyes and ears to it that everything's OK and that it doesn't exist.

Ben, don't you think it' possible that people boycott and campaign?

Yes, absolutely - if you want to boycott and campaign, that's great!
I just reserve the right to elect to do neither. I don't see how that means I have to agree with everything about it.

I stand against the oft-touted 'status quo' that if you have any disagreement with something whatsoever you should really boycott it, and if you don't, then you are a 100% supporter.

Let's not forget that the horses set off before the jockey first hits them with the crop. It's not like, the gates open, and they just stand there until the jockey hits them at which point they grunt 'oh, go on then', and then start running. They want to do the race as much as the humans. That's why it's fundamentally morally ok, per se. I do think hitting them with the crop should be banned or at least limited, but I genuinely don't think it hurts them that much, I think they've got much thicker skin than humans have.

Re: Time to call a halt to the Grand National?
« Reply #181 on: April 10, 2013, 10:09:12 am »
I do think hitting them with the crop should be banned or at least limited, but I genuinely don't think it hurts them that much, I think they've got much thicker skin than humans have.

1) It is limited. 8 hits I believe is the current regulation (this is what happens if you exceed that http://www.telegraph.co.uk/sport/horseracing/8873173/Tony-McCoy-latest-jockey-to-be-given-ban-after-excessive-whip-use-at-Ffos-Las.html)

2) the jockey's whip is flat-ended, it is more a shock to the horse to be hit than a pain

A good jockey uses their whip to help guide the horse, straighten up their 'line'. This is done by touching the horse, not hitting it.
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