The annual horse racing event from Aintree race course, Liverpool, is coming around again and there is a lot of money tied up in the event as always. Whether it be the jockeys, horses, racehorse owners or the money the racegoers will spend at the event, the Grand National will be a big ticket show.

Betting companies like 'William Hill' will be encouraging punters whether by internet, high street betting shops or mobile phone to back the favourite horses ridden by the top jockeys.

In this case the top jockey is 40 year old Northern Irishman A. P. McCoy riding the horse Shut The Front Door. Should A. P. McCoy and his stead win, it is reckoned bookies will be paying out £50 million.

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  The day is well known for the ladies who will wear extravagant hats and designer dresses while the paparazzi splashes those pictures all over the front covers of newspapers.

All this aside, the Grand National is known for a large number of horse injuries and fatalities. Many of the jumps are quite high and even the fittest of horses have trouble scaling these jumps.  As the horse race is merely for human enjoyment and comes at the expense of the health of the horses, its time to call into question the ethics of the event itself.

Could horse racing be placed alongside bull fighting where animals are tormented directly?  Do we even have the right to treat other species like this merely for our pleasure? Humankind has been doing this sort of thing for millenia, but surely in a so-called enlightened time where we recognise animals as sentient beings who share the earth with us, we should pause to reflect. 

Circuses that use animals are becoming a thing of the past largely because they are looked on as barbaric due to the way animals were used for our entertainment.

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There are calls for even zoos to be closed as many feel it is cruel to keep animals behind bars.  So the logic could go the same for horse racing events like the Grand National, though it has to be accepted there are the counter arguments in favour of horse racing events as well.