It’s time to stop fussing over silly hats and to focus on the death toll at the Grand National. Since 2000, more than 40 horses have perished in the event at Aintree, and the odds are that yet more will pay with their lives at tomorrow’s meet. Pushing horses beyond their natural abilities on an intentionally dangerous course is a recipe for disaster: many collapse, crash through railings, sustain broken legs and necks, and endure what the industry euphemistically calls “breakdown”. Others face heart attacks, bleeding in their lungs, or painful ulcers and other health problems that come only from being forced to run to their breaking point. How many more will suffer and die before horse racing is finally put out to pasture?
JENNIFER WHITE PETA (People for the Ethical
Treatment of Animals) Society Building, London