Many animal lovers and vegans are happy the 2020 Aintree Grand National has been cancelled after officials declared it was not safe to stage the historic race amid the CovID-19 outbreak.
The Jockey Club, which runs Aintree and several of the UK’s leading racecourses cancelled the Grand National festival (April 2-4) at the Liverpool race course after Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced that mass gatherings would not be supported by emergency services during the pandemic Covid-19 outbreak.
While bookies and fans were disheartened and called the cancellation “a blow to the sport, to betting operators and to racing fans,” social media was full of positive comments after the announcement. Some even called for the festival to be permanently banned.
“Nice one, at least some horses won’t be killed needlessly. the whole thing should be banned,” read one comment on BBC sport’s Twitter page.
“Good. It should be totally stopped. Nothing but murdering horses, it’s not a sport,” commented another.
“That’s one good thing to come out of it at least. Cruel race,” wrote a third.
The Grand National
The world-famous steeplechase is one of Britain’s key events and the biggest betting race attracting over 500 million spectators annually.
Another reason this season’s race was eagerly anticipated was because it would have been Tiger Roll’s (a Gordon Ellliott-trained horse) third consecutive attempt to win the race after bagging the £1million prize in 2018 and 2019.
However, after the government advised greater social distancing to tackle the coronavirus pandemic, the Jockey Club announced “it is no longer appropriate to stage the event.”
The club also dismissed the idea of staging the historic race behind closed doors stating it was “no longer a viable consideration”.
“The Randox Health Grand National Festival was just three weeks away and it’s very clear to us it will not be possible for the event to take place. Public health must come first,” read a statement released by Sandy Dudgeon, senior steward at the Jockey Club.
“We were working on a plan to stage the Grand National behind closed doors given its importance to the racing industry and beyond, but following the new Government measures confirmed this evening to help to tackle the coronavirus outbreak, this is not a viable option.
“I know this is hugely disappointing news for the many people who work in our sport and the many millions who were looking forward to this year’s event, but very sadly these are exceptional times and this is the responsible thing to do.”
Coronavirus in the UK
The virus believed to have originated at a ‘wet market’ – in Wuhan, China in early December last year has proliferated in other countries forcing governments to implement stricter measures to control the spread.
According to latest updates, while more than 1,500 people have tested positive, the death toll of people with coronavirus has reached 55 in the UK.
Share this news if you feel horse racing should be permanently banned.
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