Calls for stricter safety measures after the death of Elle Est Belle at the Aintree Festival

Saturday April 9

Chris Luffingham, director of external affairs at leading animal welfare charity the League Against Cruel Sports, has called for stricter safety measures in horse racing following the second death of a horse at the Aintree Grand National Festival after Elle Est Belle died in the second race today.

He said: “Sadly, the death toll is mounting at the Aintree Festival with Elle Est Belle being the latest casualty of the horse racing and gambling industry.

“Year in, year out, it’s the same old story with horses being whipped to go beyond what they can comfortably achieve and whilst the crowds cheer on the ‘entertainment’, they pay the ultimate price.

“It’s appalling that 57 horses have now died at this festival since the year 2000 and this carnage needs to be stopped.

“The horse racing industry has an appalling safety record and we need tough new measures to ensure the horses get more protection – we need a new independent regulatory body with horse welfare as it number one remit.

“The use of the whip in racing needs to be banned – the vast majority of the public would be shocked if any other animals were whipped, so let’s afford the horse the protection it deserves.”

Solwara One was destroyed at the Aintree Festival on Friday.


Notes to Editors

See below for a link to a video highlighting the deaths of horses in the racing industry:

See below for a link to the Animal Aid website which lists all the horses that have died at the Aintree festival since 2000.

For more information or interview requests please contact the League Against Cruel Sports Press Office on 01483 524250 (24hrs) or email

The League Against Cruel Sports is Britain's leading charity that works to stop animals being persecuted, abused and killed for sport. The League was instrumental in helping bring about the landmark Hunting Act 2004 and the Animal Welfare (Sentencing) Act 2021. We carry out investigations to expose law-breaking and cruelty to animals and campaign for stronger animal protection laws and penalties. We work to change attitudes and behaviour through education and manage sanctuaries to protect wildlife. Find out more about our work at Registered charity in England and Wales (no.1095234) and Scotland (no.SC045533).

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