Cabinet Minister, sports secretary, Jeremy Hunt now calling for changes to the Grand National

I get the feeling that a concerted and lengthy campaign is steadily building on the welfare front for racing.  I’ll be expanding on these thoughts in another article but here is the latest development;  a significant one in my opinion.

The Northern Echo reports today that  Sports Secretary Jeremy Hunt said the public had been “shocked” by the gruesome sight of the horses – Dooney’s Gate and Ornais – which broke their backs in falls, in the Grand National.

The British Horseracing Authority (BHSA) ordered a review into whether safety should be tightened up at Liverpool’s Aintree Racecourse and will publish its findings in October.

But Mr Hunt appeared to pre-empt that review, when he said: “Racing is the second most popular sport in the country after football, in terms of attendances, It’s incredibly important.

“I think that what happened at the Grand National really shocked a lot of people. Anyone would say that we need to find a better way of making sure that those kind of tragedies don’t happen.”

The comments follow calls for Mr. Hunt’s department to intervene with the BHSA and Anita, to ensure measures are taken to make the famous race less lethal.

One Labour MP compared the treatment of horses in the Grand National to that of elephants in a circus, which were forced to “prance around on their back legs.” Twenty horses have been killed since 2000.

Full article here

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