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Let's have an honest debate- Should the Grand National be axed?


View Poll Results: Should the Grand National be axed
Yes 12 15.38%
No 66 84.62%
Voters: 78. You can't vote on this poll right now - are you signed in?

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Old 06-04-2013, 04:40
IzzyInTheHouse
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Yes it should be axed. It's very cruel to the horses, who are forced to risk their life in the name of 'sport'.
I have I agree tbh. Unless something major changes to make it much more safer (for horses and jockeys alike.
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Old 06-04-2013, 08:29
jeffiner1892
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Its always the same story though, most of those who oppose it make a big fuss over the Grand National weekend when it comes round, then when it's all over pipe down for the other 363 days of the year.

If you don't like the Grand National and want it to be abolished you should be actively (not passively) campaigning against it all year round. Setting up your stall for a couple of days once a year then dismantling it a few days later is not going to get it banned.
Fair point actually, I never hear the same protests when Cheltenham comes round.
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Old 06-04-2013, 09:16
CarlLewis
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But people watch horses die for their own entertainment, car accidents are pure accidentsand not watched for entertainment.
This is nonsense. I'm sure it will therefore become dogma among the lentil-eating brigade.
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Old 06-04-2013, 09:22
clm2071
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Should it be axed? No.

Should it be made safer? Yes.
Straight to the point but true, my feelings too
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Old 06-04-2013, 10:59
Tiger Rose
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As a casual fan of horse racing I don't think so, the National has for me been a national institution and that for me should always be the case, what I do think should happen however is that the course owners should have a complete overview of what should be done in the name of safety, as in my view the steps that they have made have been to a detrimental effect.

Most health and safety campaigners believe that by making the fences around the Melling Road Course smaller it means that it will be safer as the horses will get over easier, in fact I am of the belief that the opposite has happened as a result of that. I say this for two reasons; The first is that whilst in theory smaller fences mean an easier jump it also means that the horses are approaching the subsequent fences at a higher speed, and as all of us motorists know the higher a speed you are travelling the more chance of making a mistake and the more chance of injury.

The second reason is that because the fences are smaller and easier to get over it creates larger packs of horses racing with one another, and having a larger pack increases the chances of horses tripping over one another, hampering each other and in turn increasingly the likelyhood of the horse having an incident, as well as increasing the chances of a horse tripping over another faller and injuring itself in the process. In my view higher fences will break up the packs more, look at older National Races and see how spread the field was when the fences were higher.

This is probably a minority opinion, but I think it is a solution which should be considered.
I wonder if there is something in this. Does anyone have statistics on the number of horse fatalities before they made changes to the course & afterwards to see if it has made any difference.
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Old 06-04-2013, 11:05
Tiger Rose
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It woud be interesting to see what would happen should a jockey die during the national.
They would probably loo into the causes & see if they can make changes to what jockeys wear to protect themselves etc.

This has happened in Eventing where there were sadly quite a number of fatalities in the nineties & noughties. Now when riding Cross Country all the riders where these protective vests which inflate like airbags when they fall.
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Old 06-04-2013, 11:24
bc11
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Making the fences smaller has had the opposite effect to what the safety brigade essentially wanted, as whilst its arguably easier to jump, its also at a far greater pace.

Should it be axed? No.
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Old 06-04-2013, 11:44
Tiger Rose
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I wonder if there is something in this. Does anyone have statistics on the number of horse fatalities before they made changes to the course & afterwards to see if it has made any difference.
Well answering my own question - according to wiki the number of fatalities have increased a bit since the course first modified significantly after he 1989 race.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of...Grand_National
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Old 06-04-2013, 14:19
nw0307
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As well as the fences being smaller so the horses are going faster and more prone to errors, and the grouping together which makes it more dangerous, there is another factor that some believe has made it more dangerous. It seems the horses themselves are not as robust as the old horses pre 80s. In those days, a horse was bred to be a true steeplechaser and much more robust. Nowadays, many of the horses are bred initially to run flat and then trained for steeplechase instead. These horses don't have the strong bones and muscle matter of true steeplechasers. I believe a combination of these factors have made more fatalities. When you look back at old Nationals from early last century, they had over 60 in the race, all jumping fences far bigger than today. You had the odd fatality every few years. The large fences slow the horse down, and they think about the jump more. Now its just a race with flat bred 'race' horses with a bit of jump training
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Old 06-04-2013, 14:23
Jason C
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Well answering my own question - according to wiki the number of fatalities have increased a bit since the course first modified significantly after he 1989 race.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of...Grand_National
Wonder why there were only 27 runners in 1996?
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Old 06-04-2013, 14:27
Pavster
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Wonder why there were only 27 runners in 1996?
Was that the IRA bomb/rescheduled race?
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Old 06-04-2013, 14:29
Jason C
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Was that the IRA bomb/rescheduled race?
No, that was the year after.
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Old 06-04-2013, 15:30
HungerCult
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But people watch horses die for their own entertainment, car accidents are pure accidentsand not watched for entertainment.
What utter nonsense. People watch horses RACE for entertainment, the deaths are a tragic side-effect (just as they are in road traffic accidents).
They have made the course safer and should continue to do so as much as possible.

Horses by nature love to race each other. If they don't feel like running the jockey won't have much luck getting off and pushing.
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Old 06-04-2013, 17:35
degsyhufc
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They maybe need to make it safer (for both horse and rider) but no need for a ban.

If you were to ban horse racing think how many abandoned horses you'd get. Contrary to what some might believe the owners actually do care for their horses.
Plenty of abattoirs about
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Old 06-04-2013, 17:43
Big Boy Barry
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No, it should not be banned.
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Old 07-04-2013, 00:12
crake
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What utter nonsense. People watch horses RACE for entertainment, the deaths are a tragic side-effect (just as they are in road traffic accidents).
Yes, people watch horses race for entertainment, but in doing so some horses will inevitably die. So the horses are dying for the sake of our entertainment. How is this difficult to understand? Pretending that he meant people enjoy seeing horses die just makes you look like an idiot (I don't mean to insult you, but it really does).

Horses by nature love to race each other. If they don't feel like running the jockey won't have much luck getting off and pushing.
Running is a natural defence mechanism for horses, it's how they escape predators. But suggesting that is a valid excuse to push them so hard that they routinely break legs or have heart attacks and, you know, they're actually enjoying themselves, look at the smile on his little horsey face... Well, suggesting that makes you look like... You get the idea.

Seriously, not one person has yet put forward a valid argument not to ban horse racing. Personally I don't much care, but it's hard not to side with the anties when the other side can't string together a single coherent, logical argument.
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Old 07-04-2013, 08:35
CarlLewis
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Yes, people watch horses race for entertainment, but in doing so some horses will inevitably die. So the horses are dying for the sake of our entertainment. How is this difficult to understand? Pretending that he meant people enjoy seeing horses die just makes you look like an idiot (I don't mean to insult you, but it really does).
But that wasn't what the posting said, You are twisting it to imply that the original posting said something it didn't.
How is this difficult to understand?
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Old 07-04-2013, 12:31
Caltonfan
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the Grand National passed off incident free, only two horses fell and neither died, the jockeys were ok as well.
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