Grand National: According to Pete owner will not return

Incident at Grand National According to Pete was badly injured in the race and put down

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The owner of a horse that was put down after falling at a fence in the Grand National at Aintree has said he will not enter horses in the race again.

Peter Nelson, who lives at Helperby, near Boroughbridge, in North Yorkshire, owned According to Pete, who fell at Becher's Brook on the second circuit.

The horse suffered a fractured leg and was put down at the scene.

Mr Nelson said horse racing would always carry risks but that he would not enter the National again.

Mr Nelson, who has a village garage and paper shop, said: "It's terrible. He was a family pet, part of the family.

"Everybody's absolutely upset. We've had loads of people knocking on the door.

"We've had loads of telephone calls and flowers given and bottles of wine.

"But all of that doesn't bring him back, does it?"

'Broken shoulder'

Mr Nelson said 11-year-old According to Pete was "in the prime of his life" and had recently run at Wetherby and Haydock.

"After the race we saw the loose horses running in and we were looking for him, but he never came."

Mr Nelson said ground staff at the racecourse then told him the horse was in an ambulance and was "very bad" and he was then told According to Pete had been put down.

He said: "It was devastating. We'd had him since he was a foal. We've still got his mother.

"We had a stable at the back of the garage and a little paddock for him to run in."

Talking about the race, Mr Nelson said: "If he'd have done well we'd have been chuffed for him, but it's a chance you take. You always think it's going to be someone else's horse."

He said he would never enter another horse in the Grand National race.

"No, I wouldn't," he said. "I couldn't go through all the pain again."


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  • rate this

    Comment number 192.

    We don't neccesarily need a ban but the Grand National organisers certainly need to get their house in order. An average of 2 animals needing to be destroyed each event sometimes more, isn't acceptable. Sadly I think changes will only be made to specific areas of the course after a jockey is killed or seriously injured. Is it to much to ask that changes be made before?

  • rate this

    Comment number 148.

    Horses are dying needlessly because of the nature of the grand national course and something needs to be done about this before the next race. Comparisons with 'blood sports' are a little wide of the mark for me (the nature and purpose are very different) but having to destroy animals in this day and age because the course is too arduous is simply unacceptable

  • rate this

    Comment number 88.

    People are being so emotional, it's ridiculous! Animals all over the world are dieing in a lot more brutal ways then falling over a fence and breaking a leg, but you don't seem bothered about that. What the eye doesn't see the mind doesn't worry about is so true. Life is not meant to be easy and death is a part of life no matter how or when it occurs. Pull yourselves together!

  • rate this

    Comment number 76.

    I think it's a fair decision for Nelson to choose to abandon the National, but calls for the race itself to be cancelled, while well-meaning, are misguided. This isn't the same as fox-hunting or bull-fighting where killing animals is the entire sport, this is just a race that includes risks. It's unfortunate for the horses who die but those who want it banned suggest no alternative life for them.

  • rate this

    Comment number 63.

    I do hope that all those who are proposing the Grand National is banned are vegetarians? Race horses live a fantastic life and love to race. They are adored by their trainers and everyone who looks after them. A much better life than the animals which get eaten as food, and a much better life than a significant proportion of pets.


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