Climate activists ‘planning to ruin Grand National’ by staging huge protest

Grand National  (Getty Images)
Grand National (Getty Images)

Climate activists are reportedly plotting to “ruin” the Grand National by staging a big protest at the event.

Animal Rebellion plan to form a human barricade across the course at Aintree on April 15 after using ladders and bolt cutters to sneak into the event, according to Mail on Sunday.

In the newspaper’s undercover footage, a woman can be heard saying to a group of people: “Basically the kick-off action for this whole campaign is going to be at the Grand National. The biggest horse race in the world.

“We have 600 million people viewing this horse race worldwide, we’ve got £300 million of bets on the horse race and we’re just going to ruin it.”

People could be heard laughing after the woman spoke of attempting to ruin the event, which is reportedly the first of the group’s horseracing targets.

The newspaper reports more than 100 activists had signed up to take part on April 15, with the climate group planning to take them to the racecourse in mini buses.

In another clip, a female voice could be heard talking about the plan, saying: “There are like 100 of you now at the fence.

“You get the ladders out. Put them up against the fence and you’re the first one over.

“You start climbing that fence and you see security on the other side. You don’t care. You know you’re doing the right thing.”

They then plan to glue themselves to the course, it is reported.

Animal Rebellion member Rose Patterson said: “This April we are launching the biggest campaign to protect animals and the climate this country has ever seen.

“One undercover Mail on Sunday reporter is not going to stop teachers, nurses, and more from acting for all life and really beginning the crucial conversation about our broken relationship with other animals.

“This conversation is vital if we are to tackle the root causes of our climate and ecological crises.”

She described the GrandNational as “symbolic of this broken relationship”.

“Since 2000, this event alone has killed 40 animals,” she said.

“Most people would say they love animals, so why are we okay with this?

“Whether it is for food or for sport, our relationship with animals is beyond broken.”

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.”