The Grand National is under serious scrutiny today after horse Hill Sixteen was put down after suffering injuries in the protest-disrupted race at Aintree.
The 2023 Grand National was delayed by 14 minutes after protestors associated to the group Animal Rising forced their way onto the track and glued themselves to railings.
In the end, 17 horses finished the race.
This video of the unseated Mr Incredible pulling up before a jump and colliding with Cloudy Glen has gone viral in the last 24 hours.
Nothing to see here. Just loose horses piling into fences. The horses love it apparently!#nothingtoseehere #grandnational pic.twitter.com/jgYdlJXySc
— Julie McHamish (@julesmchamish) April 15, 2023
Grand National: protestors blamed for horse's death
The delayed and chaotic start was the worst thing for the horses in the race.
Jimmy Fyffe, the owner of Hill Sixteen pointed the blame at protestors for the death of his horse, when speaking to Racing TV after the race.
It didn’t help with all the protestors and the horses walking about for a lengthy time and then going back to the stables and then coming back here. It wasn’t good for the horses whatsoever. It’s happened and it’s not a good thing.”
The horse's trainer Sandy Thompson said the protestors 'haven't a bloody clue'.
Pretty strong words from Sandy Thomson pic.twitter.com/EKyEnH2Z9r
— Off To The Races (@OTTR_Elliot) April 15, 2023
We sadly lost Hill Sixteen in today’s Grand National
Our thoughts are with Sandy Thomson & connections ❤️ pic.twitter.com/eY55Z2pewV
— Racing TV (@RacingTV) April 15, 2023
As the protestors delayed the started of the race, AP McCoy and Mick Fitzgerald spoke about the safety on the sport on ITV. McCoy called the protestors 'attention-seekers'
They're attention seekers and unfortunately we're giving them attention. These people don't have any understanding of horses and how well they are cared for.'
Hill Sixteen broke his neck after a fall on the first fence, and sadly was put down after the race. He was the third horse to lose his life at the festival this week.
The RSPCA demanded a 'review' from the British Horseracing Authority.
We urgently call on the British Horseracing Authority to review the circumstances of each of the sad deaths at Aintree, so that we never again exit a ‘festival of racing’ with three dead horses.”
PETA says that 36 horses have died in the race since 2010. While the British Horseracing Authority has brought about measures to make the race safer, yesterday's events mean there has never been more scrutiny on the race.