While Aintree has introduced a few welcome improvements to safeguard the racing animals with encouraging results, other major events like Cheltenham still have shameful death records.

Eduardo Goncalves, CEO of the League Against Cruel Sports, said:People wouldn’t generally choose to see the death of an animal on a day out, but that’s potentially what they’re going to get if they go to a jump race. Horse-racing is a popular sport, and many spectators and participants will love the animals. So why do we still allow so many horses to get hurt or killed?

"We need those in charge to ensure that every measure possible is taken to protect the animals taking part. We’ve seen some improvements in some places, but not enough in many.

“If we believe we are a nation of animal lovers then we need to prove it and not turn a blind eye. Just because a race is glamourous, has been going for years and gives us the chance of an annual flutter is no excuse.”

Some of the changes still being called for by the League Against Cruel Sports at Aintree are to:

  • Reduce the number of riders in any race from 40 to a maximum of 30
  • Ban the use of the whip on the horses
  • Remove all drops on the landing side of fences
  • Abolish the dangerous Becher’s Brook jump at Aintree completely

According to Animal Aid’s website horsedeathwatch.com, two horses died at April’s Grand National festival last year. At Cheltenham this year, seven horses died, with six dying in 2015.

Data from www.horsedeathwatch.com