Is the Grand National cruel to horses

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Marc Meakin
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Is the Grand National cruel to horses

Post by Marc Meakin » Mon Apr 16, 2018 2:32 pm

Had a heated debate with my student daughter about animal cruelty.
We agreed on most things especially how bad animals are treated in China.
But when she spouted that the Grand National was cruel to horses, I countered with the argument that many horses that have unseated their jockeys still gladly jump the fences.

Do you think that's a valid argument ?
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Gavin Chipper
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Re: Is the Grand National cruel to horses

Post by Gavin Chipper » Mon Apr 16, 2018 2:47 pm

Are you seriously asking if that's a valid argument? It's a shit argument, and you must know this. Horses carrying on after the riders fall off - what does that prove in your eyes? They've obviously been trained to do all this running and jumping, and they're not going to suddenly think "Yes, I now have no rider; this is my chance to escape!"
Last edited by Gavin Chipper on Tue Apr 17, 2018 10:22 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Mark James
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Re: Is the Grand National cruel to horses

Post by Mark James » Mon Apr 16, 2018 2:57 pm

All horse racing is cruel to horses not just the national.

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Matt Morrison
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Re: Is the Grand National cruel to horses

Post by Matt Morrison » Mon Apr 16, 2018 3:44 pm

Yeah, that is an absolutely terrible argument Marc! For me there is absolutely no question that horse racing is a cruel sport.

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Marc Meakin
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Re: Is the Grand National cruel to horses

Post by Marc Meakin » Mon Apr 16, 2018 4:23 pm

What about other equestrian events then ?
Or is all sport involving animals cruel because they are not doing it willingly ( in spite of my apparent nativity about my riderless horse argument ) ?
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Paul Worsley
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Re: Is the Grand National cruel to horses

Post by Paul Worsley » Mon Apr 16, 2018 8:53 pm

As a child my brother and I were allowed to pick a horse in the Grand National and my Grandad would place a bet for us (10p e/w). It was always a highlight of the sporting calendar. I stopped placing bets on the race about 25 years ago when I realised what an ordeal the race is for the horses. The race is too long, the fences are too high and the field is too big. Unfortunately, this is what makes the race so different from other National Hunt races.

I'm not for banning it, but I wish more people were aware how dangerous it is for the horses rather than a bit of harmless fun.

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Mark James
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Re: Is the Grand National cruel to horses

Post by Mark James » Tue Apr 17, 2018 12:55 am

I was going to say that at the very least so called "encouragement" should be banned, so no crops, whips or digging heels in. Before making this point I wanted to see what the consensus was so read a few arguments for and against this and the reasons against made me think riding horses at all should be banned. The idea that it's safer because you have control over the horses says to me that maybe you shouldn't be in a position of having to be in control of the horse to such an extent that you have to hit it to keep it safe.

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