Horse Racing: Epitome of Sartorial Elegance Vs Binge Drinking and Brutality


The races has played a crucial role in British summer time calendars for hundreds of years. People are drawn to the races by the lure of champagne, socialising and the potential of a big win. But has horse racing devolved into yet another excuse to carry out that great British pastime of binge drinking? And seperate from all the hats, cravats, magnums of Dom Perignon, is there a hidden darkness to this British sport?

We have all seen the images of scantily clad women rolling around, clutching onto the last drop of champagne in their glass, plastered all over the media these past years. Many feel great sadness about the races’ recent descent into reckless binge drinking. But are these images just the tip of the iceberg, covering a fall into criminality at the course? In 2014 10 arrests were made at the Epsom Derby for drug related offences, theft and violence. Whilst the previous year 16 arrests at the Aintree races were hailed a success, although the offences included assault and drug related crime. Consequently, traditional elegance seems to have been replaced by actions that are not only uncivilized but, more worryingly, sinister.
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But do the improper actions of those at the side-lines really compare to the harsh brutality inflicted on the course?

Since 2000, 24 horses have died on the Grand National course and, over the course of the three-day meeting, 42 horses have been killed in that same period – Animal Aid

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Beneath this decaying elegant façade lies a dark truth; defenceless animals killed in the name of sport. So is this the beginning of the end of horse racing? And should we be concerned? If the criminal behaviour and brutal treatment of animals is anything to go by then probably not. But many still believe efforts should be made to humanely resurrect this crumbling British tradition.


Discussion3 Comments

  1. avatar

    There is a lot of money in the racing industry, I very much doubt you’ll manage to ban it. The Queen owns many of her own racehorses for a start. However, I don’t agree with the mass production and overbreeding of thoroughbreds to get the fastest racer. It leads to a lot of neglected or dead ex-racers, much more than the National does. People get too drunk- you aren’t going to stop that unfortunately. I care a lot more about the welfare of the horses that didn’t make it to race day!

  2. avatar

    Is this article serious? ‘Brutality on the course’? So by banning the horse racing you are technically ending the life of the thoroughbred itself. Horses enjoy running, which is why they run the course even without a jockey and still jump fences – because they are bred to. They live for racing.

    You are clearly extremely uneducated when it comes to sport as a whole and clearly horse racing if you are serious with this article.

    It pleases me however, that you are in an extreme minority and nobody takes this claim seriously, which is why horse racing will never be banned. You are the type of person to complain about high unemployment rates without realising horse racing creates millions of jobs in the UK. Therefore I can say this with extreme confidence, that you are ultimately wrong in your whole judgement of horse racing.

    Before I leave though, I may add on October 17th it is Ascot Free For Students day – where you can come along, have some bets, drink a lot of beer and have a fantastic weekend.

    Kind regards,

    One of the 50 million horse racing fans.

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