Grand National: Why so little?

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Grand National: Why so little?

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  • What happens to horse in grand national with broken leg
  • "National hunt" horse safety

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    04-14-2012, 02:05 PM
Grand National: Why so little?

I have not watched the Grand National this year. I have seen 2 horses die live on TV last year, and just logged in to learn 2 died this year as well, one ridden by a star jockey, so this was not lack of experience. If the aim of the race is to provide a bench mark for breeders, then there should be a way to set up hedges that can be dangerous for the jockey but will leave the horse unscathed, or so, maybe collapsing hedges, light hedges... The other remark is that it is certainly possible to heal most horses' leg injuries and then retire the horse. An injured champion can become a field companion, do some lungeing work in a school, some training... Curing leg injuries is expensive however race horse owners are known for being able to afford. So why so small, the Grand?
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    04-14-2012, 02:36 PM
All horse sports have a level of danger
I am sorry for the loss of horses
    04-14-2012, 02:38 PM
The Grand National is a very tough race, which is part of what makes it special. Horses do die running it. I think it is still worth having, although plenty disagree.

And I strongly suspect that they don't put the horses down lightly...
    04-14-2012, 02:49 PM
Yearling want them to set up a course that is safe for horses but not the people? Seems logical...
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furbabymum likes this.
    04-14-2012, 02:55 PM
The sad fact is that every horse born will die, some from old age, some from illness or accident. Some will be totured, abused or neglected, and some will race.

Over the years they have donea lot to improve the safety of the national course, but as long as horses are running and jumping there will be accidents, sad but true.
    04-14-2012, 04:01 PM
Green Broke
Yes it is sometimes possible to repair a broken leg, however normaly when they brake a leg in the national it is generaly a catastrophic shattering of the leg.
If they havent shattered immediatly then the horse keeps trying to get up and follow the pack and normaly end up with a compound fracture.
Niether of those are repairable and often even in humans result in the loss of the leg or severe disabilities afterwards

Also having known a mare who had to have her leg pinned after a minor fracture, the pain and distress that mare went through just so that she could be kept alive and bred from was horrible to watch and thee is always the worry that she could canter round the field one day and it give again.

I personaly would never put a horse thorugh the pinning process

Also have you ever tried to completely immobilise a hose for months on end?
I've had to box rest a horse for 6 months and that was horrific, I've also had to care for a horse who was in a sling for 2 weeks and the terror that she would struggle and hurt herself, or get pnumonia kept me awake at night. She had to be sedated for much of those 2 weeks, not fun, very expensive and not something I would voluntarily put a horse through myself (I was working as a groom for a very wealthy lady)
    04-14-2012, 04:10 PM
Super Moderator
Here we go again!

The Grand National is nothing like the race it use to be. The fences have been substantially moderated. Beechers has a far less deep drop and the ground is more or less flat on the landing whereas it was rising before.
Synchronised, one of the favourites ridden by champion jockey Tony McCoy, fell at a straight forward fence. He jumped it well and just seemed to buckle on landing. Obviously his leg had broken. No one's fault, it happens.

As for mending a horse's broken leg, it rarely ever works with a compound fracture. Their legs are inclined to shatter making repair difficult enough but, immobilising a horse is difficult. It has to go on a sling and accept that it cannot move. Few horses will accept this for more than a few days. It is not natural for them and they just give up the will to live then nothing can help them.
It is not a matter of owners being to mean to pay for treatment, horses like this are insured.
National Hunt racing owners are in it for the love of the sport, for every horse that pays its way by winning good races there are hundreds that do not yet owners keep trying because they love the horses and the sport.

As for the National being a bench mark for breeders, that is tosh. Although the National is a very prestigious race, it is not the most highly esteemed by trainers or breeders. Their ambition is to win the Cheltenham Gold Cup, a shorter but faster race. The National is one to win but if you asked most National Hunt trainers which they would rather win it would be the Gold Cup.

Horses die, I had to have a lovely three year old shot last year because he had severed through his deep flexor tendon. We could have tried to save him but, what would be the point? He would always have been crippled lame, and within a short time his good leg would give out from doing all the weight bearing. I have seen it happen more than once.

No one wants to see horses die, at least this year they cleared them from the course. It wasn't done last year because people like you who do not know the reasons for shooting a horse with severe injuries in a race, thought to drag them off course was 'wrong'. What matters to the horse, it has already been shot.
    04-14-2012, 04:10 PM
Racehorses aren't pets. If people didn't enjoy gambling on them, there would be a lot less racehorses to begin with, as they would be less profitable. Don't get me wrong, I reckon that the type of horse used would still be around. But they wouldn't be bred in such numbers in a bid for finding the next Red Rum, etc.

Sadly, once they can't race/win, then unless needed as breeding stock there is little to encourage their owners to pay for expensive treatments and rehabilitation. The current economy can't provide enough homes for the horses already for sale, and ex-racers with bad injuries won't sell easily...

When the economy took a dive in Ireland, for example, there were whole fields full of beautiful thoroughbreds - all destined for the factory, as no one could afford to keep them anymore.
    04-14-2012, 05:18 PM
I am honestly tired of seeing this plastered all over my facebook.

The horses that are left umanned carry on racing, and one completed the rest of the jumps.

I believe there could be measures to help improve the Grand National and limit the deaths and injuries by making the standard higher, and not having so many horses race in the first place. A lot of incidents are caused when horses crash in to each other after jumping.

What people seem to forget is they see the Grand National and all its glory because its such a National and media event. They forget the good bad and ugly that happens daily in the horse world.

More horses die from turnout injuries than from racing.
So lets stop turning our horses out.

No, lets just improve the chances and lessen those for injury.
ohmyitschelle likes this.
    04-14-2012, 05:29 PM
I personally don't like horse racing but understand that some people do.
I also understand that there are dangers in all equine sports but if two horses have died two years running then maybe something should be done about it.

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