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  • Writer's pictureAnimal Rising Press

Grand National Disrupted: Animal Rising Occupy Track

  • Dozens of supporters of Animal Rising have climbed perimeter fences at Aintree and occupied the track, alongside others who had been posing as spectators, bringing the race day to a halt just before the 175th Grand National race was due to run.

  • At least 2 individuals have affixed themself to a jump on the course.

  • The individuals on the track have stated their intention to remain and prevent the race from running, stopping horses from potentially dying in the race like Dark Raven early this afternoon [1]. They have used glue and lock-on devices to attach themselves to jumps on the track.

  • Animal Rising is calling on us all to begin the critical conversation about our broken relationship with other animals and nature, saying that the need for a plant-based food system and rewilding is the key solution to the climate and ecological crises.

  • The group has said that this action marks the beginning of the “Summer of Animal Rising” and a series of animal rescues and disruptions.

In a mass action over 100 people have peacefully occupied the track at Aintree, bringing the whole racecourse to a standstill. This is despite plans for disruption being revealed nearly 2 weeks prior to the race itself [2]. Animal Rising says this action is the start of several months of action to protect animals and nature this year.

Sarah McCaffrey, a shopworker and student, one of those disrupting the track said:

“Whether it’s for food or for fun, our use of animals and nature is symbolic of a relationship beyond broken. We’re a nation of animal lovers, but the pain these beautiful creatures experience daily does not do that label justice. We need to find ways of loving animals that don’t hurt them.

I truly believe that we are a nation of animal lovers, every one of us. I know everyone coming to Aintree to view the races today would say they love the horses; however, the suffering experienced by them should shock us all. That’s why I’ve decided to put my body between those horses and death on the racecourse, rather than gamble with their lives.

An alternative to the way we stand in relation to nonhuman animals exists. We can all build a world and society that we are proud to be part of, rather than one plagued by suffering and hurt. An end to horse racing is a clear part of this kinder future.”

According to a University of York study, over half of those under 40 would not consider attending horse races due to welfare issues. The same study stated that attendance declined by over 500,000 from 2015 to 2019 [3].

In 2021, half of all horses slaughtered in the UK held racing passports, with a horse dying every 2-3 days in UK races [4].

Animal Rising is a social movement to create a new relationship with all beings and give us a chance for a safe ecological future. The group was formally known as ‘Animal Rebellion,’ relaunching on Monday under a new name and direction.


Word Count: 503

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Notes to Editors:

Track deaths statistic:



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