Why I refuse to bet on the Grand National

April 9, 2011

Let me start off by saying I come from a racing family. My grandfather was a jockey from Ireland who actually came third in the Grand National. My uncle too was a jockey, and they both worked for one of the leading trainers in the country. So I do ‘get’ horse racing.

And before I’d seen horses fatally injured with my own eyes I used to watch it too. I would even have a flutter. I might even have won a few quid.

But then I watched a race one year where several horses died. And suddenly it hit me. This isn’t sport. It isn’t entertainment. It’s barbaric.

Since then, three horses die on average a year racing the National. In 2009 five horses died, in 2010, four horses died.

I don’t want horses dying because I fancied placing a bet. I don’t want that on my conscience. If I really, really fancy a flutter on a sporting event then I’ll bet on a football game – at least grown men have some say over their fate.

I would like to see the Grand National banned, but as long as people keep gambling on its outcome, that’s never going to happen.

You Might Also Like

  • Playing to win | The Mum Blog July 8, 2013 at 7:28 pm

    […] off to the races today – not the actual races, because as you know I’m not really a fan of horse racing, but the virtual races. I’m meeting some clients for lunch at a lovely hotel and we’ll […]

  • They eat horses, don’t they? | The Mum Blog February 8, 2013 at 7:00 am

    […] horse meat scandal, but I’ve had a sense of humour failure over this one. Not just because of my family background, or our special relationship with horses, or the fact that I could no more contemplate eating a […]

  • Judith Harrop April 12, 2012 at 5:17 pm

    I agree completely but its worse than that:

    In both flat and over jumps since 2007 819 horses have died on the racecourse in the UK. We only hear about the ones in the National because its high profile. That of course doesn’t include the ones which die in training or are put down for failing to make it.

    Source is www. horsedeathwatch. com

  • Blog lovin’ | Mrs Lister writes... April 21, 2011 at 2:41 pm

    […] this post Liz explains why she refuses to bet on the Grand National – something I agree with […]

  • Come with me on a journey through time and space… | Mrs Lister writes... April 21, 2011 at 2:38 pm

    […] this post Liz explains why she refuses to bet on the Grand National – something I agree with […]

  • Mummy's Little Monkey April 12, 2011 at 12:39 pm

    I used to watch the Grand National through my fingers, my heart thumping with dread as the horses reached each jump. Yet I still placed a bet every year. After seeing the horrific death this year, and doing some research into the deaths in previous years, I will never watch it again. In my opinion, it’s not entertainment, it’s animal cruelty.

  • @hell4heather April 11, 2011 at 2:56 pm

    I totally agree too. I’m not really an animal lover but it always makes me cringe to watch this appalling race and then here, amidst all the excited chatter about the winners (financial and professional) then a brief “oops, and two horses died” in the middle. It is all so wrong. I don’t see why it has to be so dangerous

  • Mrs Lister April 10, 2011 at 6:41 pm

    Totally with you on this one Liz


  • Louise Strachan April 9, 2011 at 10:53 pm

    Speaking my mind here but how is beating an animal with a whip to get it to run fair, let alone the size of the jumps. I don’t bet on it either but sadly it’s the possible one race when joe Bloggs go’s to the bookies and because of this it will continue – sad really x

  • Scottish Mum April 9, 2011 at 3:41 pm

    Sigh, you and I both. The national was the reason I left a stable job. After seeing a horse die at a race and listened to the scream, I had no stomach for the idiots queueing up for payouts.

    I will never bet on a horse, and I turn over when any racing is on. Hate it, hate it, hate it. These deaths are not accidents, the course is barbaric, the horses pushed too hard. Just does not bear thinking about.