Up to 300 climate and animal rights group activists have said that they will attend the Grand National and will attempt to block the “Ormskirk Road” and scale the “perimeter fences.”
They have said that they will perform a slow march by the main access route to “disrupt entry” to the Aintree Racecourse.
Animal Rising who used to be known as Animal Rebellion want to use the Grand National to highlight the “broken relationship” between humans and animals.
Nathan McGovern, a spokesperson, said, “We do plan to be periodically blocking Ormskirk Road, the access road to the front of the racecourse, to disrupt the entry to the venue throughout the day.
We regret to hear the tragic news from Aintree Racecourse this afternoon that 9 year old horse Envoye Special has died from fatal injuries during the 4:05pm Foxhunters chase – on the first day of this year's Grand National Horseracing Festival.
This was their first time running… pic.twitter.com/r9zOyGdqhB
— Animal Rising (@AnimalRising) April 13, 2023
“The group of people at the front will be peacefully attempting to make their way over perimeter fences/walls at the front of Aintree before the Grand National race begins with the intention of making their way onto the track.
“And all of this is before the race even starts. We will not be entering the track if there are horses and jockeys riding.”
McGovern added, “It’s a spotlight that we really need to be using to push a national conversation about our broken relationship, not only with horses but with all the animals that we use, whether that’s for food, fun, entertainment and dog and horse racing.
“This is very much about a bigger picture of recognising that, in a nation of animal lovers, we’re not really living up to those values with our actions.”
A spokesperson for the British Horseracing Authority said: “While we respect the rights of anyone to protest safely and legally, we condemn any action which is illegal, especially if it puts at risk the safety of horses, jockeys, officials or fans.”
A spokesperson for Merseyside Police said, “Merseyside Police has a robust policing plan in place for Aintree, as it does for any major public event, to ensure the safety and wellbeing of everyone involved.
“We have been working with our partners, including The Jockey Club, for a number of months in the build-up to this year’s festival to ensure that any necessary plans and processes are in place to deal with any incidents that may arise and to prevent any significant or ongoing disruption to racegoers and local residents and businesses.
“We respect the right to peaceful protest and expression of views, but public order or criminal offences will not be tolerated and will be dealt with robustly.”