The Grand National - why it just isn't fun any more
As the Grand National approaches tomorrow, we've already had one death at Aintree, this year: http://metro.co.uk/2013/04/05/battlefront-death-at-aintree-shows-organisers-have-grand-national-meeting-safety-badly-wrong-3584482/. The macabre 'betting slip' above, drawn up as a reality-check by smart opponents of the race to illustrate the nature of the problem here, is in that sense, sadly, already out of date. (If you had your money on the 4-1 outsider, you've already lost...)
Despite 'the National' being part of our annual life when I was growing up, I won't be betting on any horses or taking time out of my weekend to watch it.
So why the opposition? There will be activists from the Fight Against Animal Cruelty in Europe (FAACE) protesting outside Aintree station to raise awareness of the number of fatalities of horses in the race.
The thing is: it is one thing for humans to take part in a risky sport, if they choose to. It is quite another to subject animals who have no choice in the matter to even greater risks.
It is just wrong, it just ain't fair, to gamble with horses' lives every year in this way.
It's time for the Grand National to fade out, and for jump-horse-racing to be put on hold.