Nick Benson

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Bishop encourages viewers to participate in daily Mass on RTÉ

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Ban horse racing, says Catholic group

A Catholic animal welfare group has called for ‘barbaric’ horse racing to be banned, as it condemned the appalling loss of life associated with horse racing in general and the Grand National in particular.

During last weekend’s Grand National, Up For Review became the first horse to be killed at the race since 2012, leaving horrified punters vowing to never bet on horse racing again after the animal went into convulsions as he died after falling on his neck.

Two other horses, Forest Des Aigles and Crucial Role, also died on Ladies Day, which took place on Friday 5th April, and is part of the Grand National Festival.

“Horse racing is a cruel sport, there is no other way of looking at it,” Chris Fegan, chief executive of Catholic Concern for Animals (CCA) told The Catholic Universe.

“Horse racing claims the lives of horses each year, with the Cheltenham and Grand National Festivals being the worst cases and yet again we have seen horses killed at both in 2019.

“Horse racing at these so called ‘Festivals’ claims the lives of horses almost every year and has done so again this year with the number of dead horse heading towards double figures,” Mr Fegan continued.

“The number of horses killed at the Grand National and Cheltenham alone is appalling but this is only part of the story and there have been nearly 2,000 horses killed for ‘sport or entertainment’ in the UK on racecourse since 2007 and that is from just over 4,400 ‘racing days’ in that period – so in effect a horse dies on average every two days in UK horse racing.

“CCA condemns all cruel sports wherever they occur around the world and UK horse racing is one of the worst.

“It is about time this barbarity was ended and these races banned.”

Although it is being reported that this year’s Grand National is the first time a horse has died in the race since 2012, PETA warned prior to the race that horses had died at the Grand National Festival in 16 out of the last 18 years.

The Manchester Evening News also reported that throughout the Grand National’s history, 84 horses have died taking on the Aintree course.

Picture: 2018 Archive photo of Jockey Brian Hayes on board The Paparrazi Kid falling over a hurdle, both okay afterwards, in the Boylesports Irish Grand National Chase, during Boyle Sports Irish Grand National Day of the 2018 Easter Festival at Fairyhouse Racecourse, Ratoath, Co Meath. (PA).

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OTHER NEWS

Bishop encourages viewers to participate in daily Mass on RTÉ

The Bishop of Raphoe has encouraged viewers to participate in daily Mass broadcast by RTÉ. His call came as recent figures showed that daily Mass broadcast by RTÉ had an average television audience of 34,600. The broadcast is a response to the Covid-19 related...

Archdiocese to livestream display Shroud of Turin on Holy Saturday

With people forced to stay home, even during Holy Week, because of the coronavirus pandemic, the Archbishop of Turin has announced a special online exposition of the Shroud of Turin, which many believe is the burial cloth of Jesus. On Holy Saturday, 11th April, as...