Scottish Grand National Disrupted by Animal Rising
Supporters of Animal Rising have made their way onto the track at Ayr Racecourse in Scotland to disrupt the Scottish Grand National, delaying the next race.
Individuals affixed themself to jumps on the course which are now being replaced.
This follows the death of Oscar Elite, who broke their leg in the 13:50 race today. Those on the track say they want to stop any more horses from dying or coming to harm.
Animal Rising claim they are continuing a wider conversation about how we treat and exploit animals in society in general, whether that’s for food or fun.
118 supporters of Animal Rising were arrested last weekend at the event in Liverpool following a similar action that disrupted the Grand National race by nearly 15 minutes.
The group say they will continue with more race disruptions, alongside a series of farm occupations and animal rescues.
25 supporters of Animal Rising have peacefully occupied the racecourse at Ayr, delaying the 15:35 race. During an earlier race at 13:50, the horse Oscar Elite had their leg broken and was put down.
As of today, 12 horses have died at the Scottish Grand National across the past 12 meets, with 6 of those being in the main 4-mile race. Animal Rising claim they want to prevent more harm coming to the horses, and start a wider conversation about how we treat animals in general.
Sarah McCaffrey, a shop-worker and student from Scotland, said
“Last week I was at the Grand National at Aintree where we started a crucial conversation about our relationship with animals and nature. Three horses died over the course of that event, making it a total of 50 horses who have died from racing this year in the UK alone.
Today we continue that conversation. As a society, we love animals, but we have to find a way to care for them without harming them. And this is not unique just to entertainment, but in our food system as well where we kill 1 billion land animals each year in the UK alone, and countless more fish, often at the expense of the environment.
This conversation is particularly important in Scotland where we have so much potential for nature and wildlife to thrive. We can all build a world that we are proud to be part of. An end to horse racing, as well as a transition to a plant-based food system, are key elements of this kinder, safer future.”
Last Saturday, the same group got through the ‘ring of steel’ policing protecting the racecourse at Aintree where three horses (Envoye Special, Dark Raven, and Hill Sixteen) died over the course of the three-day event. The group delayed the showcase Saturday Grand National race in Liverpool by up to 15 minutes.
Earlier in the week it was reported that Ayr Racecourse were increasing security at their event following the events of the English Grand National, but that there was ‘no specific threat’ of disruption in Scotland .
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 .
In 2021, half of all horses slaughtered in the UK held racing passports, with a horse dying on average every 2-3 days in UK races .
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 formerly known as ‘Animal Rebellion,’ relaunching earlier this month under a new name and direction. They are calling for a plant-based food system and rewilding as a key solution to the climate and ecological crises.
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Notes to Editors:
Track deaths statistics: https://www.horsedeathwatch.com/
 Slaughterhouse statistic: https://www.animalaid.org.uk/national-racehorse-week-an-industry-that-is-still-sending-its-horses-to-slaughter/#:~:text=In%202021%2C%20a%20total%20of,being%20sent%20to%20the%20abattoir.