Two horses who ran in the Grand National main horserace of the Aintree festival on 10th April 2022 have now been confirmed dead. Discorama died after being pulled up with an injury before the 13th fence, and Eclair Surf, one of the early favourites, died after suffering a heavy fall at the third fence. This “prestigious” endurance race, in which 40 horses are forced to jump 30 fences through four-and-a quarter miles, is notorious for the suffering it causes to horses, including their deaths.

The British Horseracing Authority (BHA) is responsible for racehorse welfare but has failed to curb the number of fatalities at the course. Since the first Grand National in 1839, 86 horses have died during the race itself, with nearly half of these deaths taking place between 2000 and 2012. In 2021, The Long Mile had to be shot dead during the main race having suffered an injury while running on the flat course, two years after Up for Review lost his life at Aintree. At Aintree alone, 55 horses have died since 2000, including 15 during the Grand National itself. In 2021 there were 200 horse deaths across Britain. Reforms have been made since 2012, but they have made little difference. Only a total ban on horse racing, at Aintree and everywhere else, will stop all this suffering and deaths. 

Jade Emery, Animal Aid’s Horse Racing Campaigner, who campaigns for the event to be banned, said: ‘If a horse’s life is worthless to the racing industry, as we have seen every year at the Grand National meeting, then the industry itself is devoid of morals. It’s time to challenge the acceptance of this race meeting, and the associated deaths, and see it banned from taking place.’. There is a petition to ban all horseracing in the UK and Ireland that you can sign. 

Jordi Casamitjana
“Originally from Catalonia, but resident in the UK for several decades, Jordi is a vegan zoologist and author, who has been involved in different aspects of animal protection for many years. In addition to scientific research, he has worked mostly as an undercover investigator, animal welfare consultant, and animal protection campaigner. He has been an ethical vegan since 2002, and in 2020 he secured the legal protection of all ethical vegans in Great Britain from discrimination in a landmark employment tribunal case that was discussed all over the world. He is also the author of the book, ‘Ethical Vegan: a personal and political journey to change the world’.