The Never-Ending Debate: Should Horse Racing be Stopped?

Horse racing is popular sport in many places around the world. It has been a sport since the first documented race back in 1651. 

The sport consists of 40 horses racing around a race track while jumping fences. With the winning jockey winning a huge cash prize. 

However, despite the sports popularity to some, others find the sport to be unfair towards the horses and believe that it is animal cruelty. 

The Grand National is one of the biggest horse racing events in the UK, and has been an annual event since 1839. Since the first event, 84 horse’s deaths have been officially recorded however some people against the event believe the death total is more than they say it is. This number of deaths has caused an outrage for many years for those against the event.

The Grand National has responded to the angry viewers by stating, 

Over the years Aintree race officials and the British Horse Racing Authority have introduced a number of safety-related changes to the Grand National to make the race safer. This is not only focused around the horses but also on the jockeys. Since the year 2000, there have been eleven Grand National deaths. But in general, deaths in horse racing are still fairly rare.

Some of the safety related changes include, lowering the difficulty of the fences and making the overall race shorter. The fences now have plastics inserts and are much more forgiving than they used to be. This has had an impact on the amount of deaths but has not completely stopped the deaths from occurring. This was proved in the recent Grand National on the 10th April 2021, one of the 40 horses had to be put down after suffering an injury on one of the fences.  

I spoke to a member of the public called Rosalind Cocker, who believes horse racing should be brought to a stop.

Rosalind Cocker, had this to say,

My opinion on horse racing is that yes I believe it should be stopped, for the following reasons.

Horses deserve to have as near to a natural life as they possibly can, I am not against horses being used for riding lessons and for private riding providing they are cared for in the best possible way in as close to nature and natural living as they can.
I am against horses being bred and being used for racing as it can cause the horse stress and some trainers and riders can cause injury to the horses in their bid for the big win. This is done to make owners and trainers money and it means the horse is no more than a work tool for them and an object to earn money from. My particular hate is the Grand National race which is a hard cruel race often resulting in the horrific injuries of horses and which means they have to be shot often in earshot of members of the public there to watch the cruel race.

Horse racing is also a tool to encourage people to gamble and such gambling can lead to addiction and very often means families get broken up and lose their homes etc due to a parent gambling and losing money they cannot afford to lose.
This addiction can cause untold mental and sometimes physical violence to the partner and children within the relationship. It leads to lies being told regarding money and belongings being lost due to the gambling.
It can lead to crime with the gambler being so much in debt they steal to try and fund the gambling habit.

My overall opinion is that horse racing should be banned and horses should only be used as much loved and cared for pets.  Their  use to make greedy owners richer is not acceptable in my eyes.

Unfortunately, it’s most likely that this debate will never be resolved as there is a valid argument for both sides and the sport is far too popular to be stopped. This debate will most probably go on for many more years and the races will continue. However it is good to see that races such as The Grand National are taking extra care to prevent horse injuries and deaths. 


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