THE deaths of two horses – Ornais and Dooneys Gate – in the 2011 Grand National caused a national outcry, after images of Ornais’s tarpaulin-covered corpse were accidentally screened on television. Ornais broke his neck and Dooneys Gate broke his back.

Now we hear two more horses met their demise during last weekend’s event.

The Grand National race is deliberately difficult: a dangerously overcrowded field of 40 horses is forced to confront 30 extraordinarily challenging and treacherous jumps over a gruelling course of four-and- a-half miles.

In the 2011 Grand National, just 19 of the 40 horses completed the event.

Since 2000, 35 horses have been killed at the three-day Aintree meeting, with 20 of them dying on the Grand National course itself.

The Grand National is, on average, five times more lethal than other steeplechases. There is little hope that recently announced changes to the course will be any more successful at reducing the risks to horses than have previous adaptations, and there is now a growing sense of outrage being voiced against this deadly spectacle.

Anyone who wants to know more about a campaign to ban the Grand National, including a short film about the big race, can visit Animal Aid’s website –

Jennifer Watts, Brighton