Abby Rugg

Name: Abby Rugg
Qualification: Gold Standard NCTJ Multi-Media Journalism Diploma. (Including 100 words-per-minute shorthand)
Employment: Worked at BBC Sport and Deltatre for London 2012.
Future Aim: To work in broadcast/production television.
Blog: Started in November 2011. Published on The Sports Investor and Value Horse Tips. Please comment on a post or follow me on Twitter.

Tuesday, 17 April 2012


Reading through a number of articles about this year's Grand National and people's opinions towards the event has made me realise that professionals and punters in horse racing now have to unite to defend the sport that they love.

Every time I flicker through an article on the deaths of Gold Cup champion Synchronised and According To Pete, I am faced with angry people who know nothing about the sport, claiming that horse racing is cruel and unnecessary.


Photo by Meteorshoweryn (Creative Commons) from Flickr

As a person who has loved and admired the sport from an early age, I believe that now is the best and most important time for jockeys, trainers and owners to unite and defend their decisions that are made in horse racing.

Putting down a horse is a sad thing to happen but sometimes it is necessary: if those who work in the sport can understand the risk (i.e trainers and owners) then why can't other people?

Another absurd idea is to ban The Grand National. The event is the biggest jump race in Europe as the prize money is near £1 million.

Banning the race will therefore put people out of a job and Aintree, as well as Great Britian, will lose its status of being the host of a huge sporting event.

The horses who run in The Grand National spend months enduring training that their owners specifically set.

They are therefore prepared for the four mile race and are not thrown into the challenge without the training that is required.

Yes, I agree that it is upsetting when horses have to be put down as a result of a fractured leg or a broken shoulder but it is the kindest thing to do.

During a race, if a horse does fall and fracture its leg, it has so much adrenaline pumping through its body it cannot feel the pain.

As the fracture cannot be fixed and before the horse can feel the agonising pain, it is put down, a decision that trainers and owners are sometimes faced with.

But then again, they understand the risk and I hate the thought of Synchronised and According To Pete's deaths constantly overshadowing the closest finish ever witnessed.

So here's to a fantastic win by Neptune Collonges - a fantastic horse that has always been living in his stablemates' shadows - Kauto Star and Denman - but has now deservedly won the biggest race of them all.

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