I VERY rarely write letters to newspapers but felt I had to reply to the letter from Sheila Clayton regarding the Grand National (Letters, April 21).
It seems she has jumped on the bandwagon to ban the race yet again, even after all the modifications to the fences and landing areas over the last few years has made the contest a lot safer. Unfortunately all people hear are the headlines that “two horses were killed” without examining the facts.
The deaths of the two horses were both unfortunate accidents that were not caused by the size of the fences or any other reasons for which Aintree could be held accountable.
Horses can die anywhere. Only last week a top jumper of trainer David Pipes was turned out in a field and the next morning found to have broken a leg.
Does this mean grazing should be banned? Or all other forms of using horses: hunting (launching themselves into the unknown over ditches and barbed wire fences), show jumping (where horses have to jump over 7ft-plus fences) etc.
Should they also be banned?
Lastly, her comment about “horses can be healed if they break a leg but it’s all money” is totally misleading and incorrect.
The owner of Synchronised (one of the horses who died), JP McManus, is one of the most caring owners in the sport.
He would not run any of his horses if he didn’t think it was safe and all his horses are all given good homes on retirement. Believe me, if that horse could have been saved, it would have been!
NICK JONES, Bishop’s Waltham.