Comic Con Liverpool Countdown 🦹

Open search Close search

Close menu


Nine arrested after protesters access Aintree Racecourse

1 year ago

Nine arrested after protesters access Aintree Racecourse
Credit: PA

Nine people were arrested at Aintree Racecourse after a large number of protesters attempted to gain entry to the track – delaying the start of the Grand National, Merseyside Police has said.

Dozens of activists climbed fences at Aintree, with at least two affixing themselves to a jump using glue and lock-on devices, climate and animal rights group Animal Rising said.

The protesters breached security fences as National runners were in the parade ring, causing a delay of 12 minutes.

Merseyside Police announced that nine individuals who managed to enter the course were arrested.

Animal Rising
Animal Rising activists outside the gates (Peter Byrne/PA)

The force said: “Just after 5pm, a large number of protesters attempted to gain entry on to the course. The majority were prevented from breaching the boundary fencing, but the nine individuals who managed to enter the course were later arrested by officers.”

Sarah McCaffrey, a shopworker and student – and one of those disrupting the track, said: “Whether it’s for food or for fun, our use of animals and nature is symbolic of a relationship beyond broken.

“We’re a nation of animal lovers, but the pain these beautiful creatures experience daily does not do that label justice. We need to find ways of loving animals that don’t hurt them.

“I truly believe that we are a nation of animal lovers, every one of us. I know everyone coming to Aintree to view the races today would say they love the horses; however, the suffering experienced by them should shock us all.

“That’s why I’ve decided to put my body between those horses and death on the racecourse, rather than gamble with their lives.”

Horse Dark Raven died after racing on Saturday, the second death at the three-day festival after Envoye Special fell on Thursday.

Earlier on Saturday, Merseyside Police said three people had been arrested on suspicion of conspiracy to cause a public nuisance, with a 25-year-old woman from London and a 55-year-old man from Greater Manchester arrested outside the racecourse on Saturday – and a 33-year-old woman from the London area arrested in the Greater Manchester area earlier in the day.

Nathan McGovern, spokesperson for Animal Rising, said: “These actions show that the police are spending more time chasing peaceful protestors than addressing the real issues that exist, such as our broken relationship with animals and the climate emergency.”

A police dispersal zone was put in place around the racecourse amid the threat of disruption.

Animal Rising
Credit: PA

A force spokesman said: “Merseyside Police has been working with The Jockey Club and other partners to keep people safe during the Grand National Festival.

“We are aware of some people planning to protest at the event. This has been factored into our plans.

“We respect the right to peaceful protest and expression of views, but criminal behaviour and disorder will not be tolerated and will be dealt with robustly.”

An Aintree Racecourse spokesperson said: “We respect the right to peaceful protest but sincerely hope that Animal Rising reflect on whether their proposed actions are legitimate and responsible.

“Their actions could endanger the horses they purport to protect, as well as jockeys, officials and themselves.

“As you would expect, we are working closely with Merseyside Police to ensure we protect the safety and enjoyment of everyone, including all participants, human or equine, at the Grand National.”

Following the delay, Corach Rambler – trained by Lucinda Russell and ridden by Derek Fox – won the feature race.



The Guide Liverpool

About Us

We showcase the very best of Liverpool City Region through stunning video features and keep residents and visitors updated on what's on and what's good. About Us

The Guide Liverpool

Meet Our Team 👋

Meet Our Team
Eurovision 2023 - Jay And Gem - The Guide Liverpool Video Production

The Guide Liverpool

Video Production & Advertising

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Suspendisse quis eros sit amet mi eleifend tincidunt. Services