Many people view horse racing as a bit of fun on a nice day out, these people probably do not know the dangers that these horses and riders face during the races. There are many different types of horse racing these include, flat racing, Jump racing, harness racing and endurance racing. I am going to discuss horse racing in regard to the welfare of the horse.

During horse races many injuries happen because horses although very strong animals can be hurt very easily. This generally happens because a horses skeleton does not reach full maturity until  the horse is between four and seven years old. This is why racehorses often suffer injuries during their racing career.

These horses are given the best care on racing yards which boast the best facilities. The trainers do whatever they can to prevent injury. 

More than 370 horses are raced to death every year in the UK. Some of them are injured and have to be put down. Some may fall during the race and die. In the history of horse racing, more horses have died than riders.

This year, three horses were killed at the Cheltenham horse racing festival and three horses also died during the Grand National festival at Aintree race course.

The grand national is a famous horse race, it was designed as a cross country steeplechase. During the race there are 16 fences of which the first 14 are jumped twice. This race is said to be the ‘ultimate test of horse and rider,’ about 84 horses have died in Grand National history at Aintree, the majority of these deaths happened before 2000 although since then 28 deaths have been recorded during the race and 49 deaths over the 3 days since. This race is made deliberately hazardous. 

In British horse racing, a foam padded, air cushioned whip is used. Even though this is allowed, there are strict rules and regulations in place. Currently, there is only one accredited supplier of racing whips in Britain, they ensure whips carried by jockeys in Britain conform to standards. 

During a flat race, the whip can be used a maximum of seven times and during a jump race a maximum of eight times.  

The British Horse Racing Authority is always working to make racing safer, the 14,000 horses in training at one time are all cared for by people who independently govern and regulate racing, the sports participants, and 6,000 stable staff.

So is the welfare of the horse being compromised? Well, after researching this article, I unearthed some shocking stats. For example, I counted over 50 horses killed racing this year so far and it is only April. These are all things to think about before enjoying this sport.