More than 100 arrested as activists delay Grand National

Liverpool, England –

One of the world’s most famous horse races, the Grand National, was postponed to Saturday after animal rights activists climbed the fence around Aintree Racecourse and climbed into a truck.

According to Merseyside police, 118 people were arrested on suspicion of criminal damage and public nuisance for disrupting the race.

Many activists in groups of an estimated 300 climbed the high fence around the racetrack just outside Liverpool and climbed onto the track minutes before the race was scheduled to start. Some were attached to race fences using glue or lock-on devices before being taken away by police and security officials, according to the Animal Rising organization.

Police and security officials were seen shaking the surrounding fences to prevent other activists from climbing. was seen

As a result, the race was delayed and 39 racehorses were held in the parade ring. Originally scheduled to start at 5:15 PM local time (1615 GMT), it started about 15 minutes later.

The day began with the arrest of three people in connection with an activist plot to sabotage the race. All three were arrested on “suspicion of public indecency,” police said. Their names have not been revealed.

“While we respect the right to peaceful protest and expression, criminal activity and disorder will not be tolerated and will be dealt with firmly,” Merseyside Police said.

Animal Rising called on protesters to gather outside the racetrack and demand an end to “recreational cruelty to animals”. I tweeted a video showing.

Police said they were working with race organizers before and during the Grand National Festival, which began Thursday.

Members of the police detain a protester after activists tried to prevent the start of the Grand National horse race at Aintree Racecourse in Liverpool, UK, Saturday 15 April 2023. (AP Photo/Jon Super)

Animal Rising activist Alex Lockwood told British radio station TalkSport this week that standing outside handing out flyers “didn’t stop anything” from the Grand National. He said he planned to disrupt.

Even more infuriating was the news that two horses, Dark Raven and Hill Sixteen, had died in a race at Aintree on Saturday. Hill Sixteen was on the field at the Grand National and died after suffering “irreparable injuries,” organizers said.

On Thursday, another horse, Envoy Special, was fatally injured in a Foxhunter’s Chase running over the fence used for the Grand National.

“This horrible ‘sport’ continues to take lives before our very eyes. It’s time to ban this horrible industry,” Animal Rising wrote on Saturday.

The Grand National is one of the biggest events on the British sports calendar and is considered one of the world’s most dangerous horse races due to the size of the fence.

After two horses died at the Grand National in 2012 and 2011, changes were made to the course to make it safer, including softening some of the fences.

Since then, 356 runners have had four fatalities in nine Grand Nationals. At last year’s Aintree Festival, four of his horses died, including two of his who were injured at the Grand National.

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