WITH 52 horse deaths this year already on British racecourses alone, it's hard not to be saddened and sickened by the amount of coverage about the Grand National and horse racing in general.

Many people regard horse racing as a harmless sport in which the horses are willing participants, but the truth is behind the scenes lies a story of immense suffering.

It is just a profit-making organisation that uses horses as expendable commodities.

The evidence points to it being a hard-headed exploitative industry that – notwithstanding the soft-focus PR message – treats race horses as disposable commodities.

It routinely produces more thoroughbreds than racing can accommodate but takes virtually no responsibility for the 'surplus'.

Unwanted horses are sold to whoever wishes to buy them or they are killed in the yard or sent for slaughter – approximately 1,000 each year.

In reality, no other sport comes close to matching racing's attrition rate. If it did, a ban would be quickly imposed.

Alison Jermy, Darlington