Trainer Blames Animal Rights Activists for Horse’s Death at UK Grand National

  • Sandy Thomson was the trainer for Hill Sixteen, a horse that fell at the first fence
  • The horse died after suffering an “unrecoverable injury”
  • Protestors caused a 14-minute delay to the race and Thomson believes they unsettled the horse
UK Grand National
The trainer of Hill Sixteen, a horse that died following a fall at the Grand National, has blamed the incident on animal rights protestors. [Image:]

The trainer of a horse that died during the UK Grand National on Saturday has blamed animal rights activists for the fatal fall.

Ten-year-old horse Hill Sixteen fell at the first fence in the four-mile race at the Aintree Racecourse, later dying as a result of an “unrecoverable injury.” The Grand National has a reputation for fatalities due to a combination of a large number of participants, the distance, and the height and quantity of fences.

Five of the 395 horses that have started the Grand National over the past ten years have died because of in-race incidents.

Protestors caused a 14-minute delay to the beginning of the race after storming the track. This led to 118 arrests, with some of the activists gluing themselves to track fences. They were campaigning about the death of horses as a result of racing-related accidents.

he couldn’t remember when it last had a fall

Speaking on BBC Radio 4’s “Today Programme,” trainer Sandy Thomson said he believes the protestors actually unsettled Hill Sixteen, making the horse very hyper. He noted that the horse had no issues in two previous Grand Nationals and he couldn’t remember when it last had a fall. Talking about the activists, Thomson said “I know how ignorant these people are and they haven’t a bloody clue. They just cause more problems than they ever solve.”

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