THE Grand National course, which has undergone what has been described as major safety improvements, claimed another equine victim last week (4th April) when 11-year-old old Battlefront collapsed and died with a suspected heart attack.

The Grand National race is deliberately hazardous.

A dangerously overcrowded field of 40 horses is forced to confront 30 extraordinarily challenging and treacherous jumps over a gruelling distance of over 4.5 miles.

Recent changes to the course have failed to tackle the inherently lethal nature of the event.

In the 2012 Grand National, just 15 of the 40 horses completed the race.

Despite a great deal of pre-race hype, a majority of respondents to an NOP poll commissioned by Animal Aid last year said the Grand National is cruel with sentiment continuing to move against the event.

We keep hearing that racehorses are deeply cherished and cosseted but, in reality, racing treats thoroughbreds as commodities, killing or dumping thousands every year when they fail to make the grade and when their racing days are over.

If there is one thing you can bet on it’s that more horses will die if this race is allowed to continue.

Alison Jermy, Darlington.

THE shamefully predictable, yet entirely avoidable, death of Battlefront during the first race over the Grand National fences at Aintree belies the worth of the recent changes made to the course.

Profit is still allowed to trump concern for the horses’ lives, and the animals fare in a way that would be unthinkable if the racers were human.

Every year, we see horses crash face first into the ground on Britain’s most lethal racecourse.

Battlefront collapsed and died after pulling up at the 11th fence on this purposely punishing course, paying for human entertainment with his life.

Why doesn’t the British Horseracing Authority just dig holes on the course for the animals to stumble into and then bury the fallen animals on the track to save time?

The Grand National is nothing but a national disgrace that is only “grand” if you are not a horse or a caring human being.

Ben Williamson, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA).