Britain’s most controversial horse race, the Grand National, has sparked outrage after a horse who fell at the first fence has been killed.
Up for Review, who could be seen struggling on the floor on live TV, has been ‘put down’ – becoming the first horse to die at the Grand National’s main race since 2012.
However, two other horses were killed at the racecourse yesterday, during Aintree’s three-day ‘festival’.
It has been reported ITV, who broadcasted the event live, later showed a replay of the race from the second fence to avoid showing Up for Review’s fall.
Celebrity comedian, Ricky Gervais, was one of many high-profile names to speak out about the incident, tweeting: “Why would you gamble with a horse’s life for fun? #YouBetTheyDie.”
‘The race of greedy, callous people’
While animal-rights organization, PETA, said: “At 4.5 miles, the Grand National race is one of the longest and most hazardous in the world – the high-risk factor is what makes it famous.
“This kind of carnage is precisely why people are turning away from horse racing. It’s not the race of kings – it’s the race of greedy, callous people whose ethics don’t comport with our contemporary understanding of horses’ sensitivity and intelligence.
“These animals certainly don’t deserve to be treated like wind-up toys and then discarded after breakdowns or at the end of their lives. The Grand National is a national disgrace, yet ITV is still broadcasting this unethical spectacle.”
A ‘Barbaric sport’
ITV Racing posted a video claiming Up for Review had suffered a ‘fatal injury’ and said: “This is a sport and a race that has a trap door to despair. It does break hearts but it also makes legends.”
The tweet received criticism with people dubbing the race as a ‘barbaric sport’ that ‘needs to be banned’.
Since the Grand National first started, 84 horses have been killed. On average, 200 horses die on the racetrack each year.
To sign PETA’s petition urging ITV to stop broadcasting the Grand National, click here