Grand National is ‘cruel to horses’

April 10, 2010, 12:07 AM GMT+0

The weekend just gone, many of us will have had a flutter on the Grand National, but even more would have liked to alter the course to reduce the danger posed to the horses.

While over half the population will pay heed to Aintree to some degree, a large proportion feel the race is cruel to the horses, and that organisers should be doing more to reduce this threat. 39% think the race is cruel to some degree, compared to 46% who think it is not. When the public were made aware of the death toll in recent Nationals – the survey explained that 14 horses have died in the last 14 races – few people remained at ease with the current state of the race. Only 17% were confident that the Grand National should not change at all.

48% believe the jumps should be lowered; 28% think the number of participants should be reduced and a quarter (25%) believes the water jumps should be shortened.

A significant 32% of the British public watch and bet on the nation’s biggest horse race, and a further 13% watch without parting with their money. There’s also still interest among those who won’t be watching this Saturday: four percent bet without watching, and 12% neither watch nor bet, but profess interest in the result nonetheless.

It seems that those watching did so for the sake of the horses, as well as their bets.

For survey details and full results, please click here