As a teenager I was a hardcore animal rights nut. I refused to eat meat (not really an issue when my mum’s vegetarian), signed petitions, went to a few slightly iffy demonstrations/marches (which I wince at now) and tried to educate others.
My extended family is quite horsey, my Grandad is from Yorkshire, has shares in a race horse and his winnings on the track have always been a family joke (he has a lucky knack for picking winners). My great-aunt hunts (yuk), and my aunt and cousin both ride.
But while I love horses for being such gorgeous creatures, the horrible things race horses go through turn my stomach.
From the damaging amount of bran in their diets, wrecking their insides, to the whips and pressure exerted on them on the track, to the numbers of horses who lose their lives after falling at jumps or losing their balance on the course, it’s all cruel and totally unnecessary.
At the moment the press is still full of pictures of Ladies’ Day at Ascot, of the OTT outfits and hats, obscuring the horror happening on the course.
I have chosen not to share pictures of the things that go on, they’re stomach churning, but you can look for yourself online if you’re interested.
How do you feel about horse racing? Is it time we stopped beating and killing these creatures for entertainment?