It’s a brave racing personality who raises the ghosts of Ornais and Dooney’s Gate when the national media have forgotten them. But I think Charlie Brooks is right to do so here in today’s Telegraph.
It’s too easy for us to settle back down into daily racing life till Aintree comes along next year with the threat of dropping more Animal Aid parcels to those vehemently opposed to the National.
Other articles in this category – 2011 post-Grand National debate – on my blog, tell the story of the continued campaigns in Australia to abolish NH racing completely (It’s now legal in only two states). Michael Lynch’s article gives an enlightening picture of the background to that campaign and it’s notable that the RSPCA down under helped get jumps racing stopped in many states.
How much longer the UK arm of that organisation can continue to ‘support’ the Grand National must be questionable. The Animal Aid devotees (their GN ‘merchandise’ includes T-shirts with the motto You bet. They Die), will have taken considerable heart from the public exposure they’ve received this time round. If they have any nous, the RSPCA will be in their crosshairs.
Charity donations are tough to come by in these days of ‘austerity’; if an anti-RSPCA campaign orchestrated by Animal Aid starts affecting funds, racing had better look out. Charlie Brooks touches on the whip issue too and the BHA’s position on the current rules will become untenable – it’s a matter of time and a subject for a separate article.