Grand National sponsor slated for ‘sickening’ ad

Via the Daily Post:

Grand National sponsor slated for ‘sickening’ ad
Apr 10 2007
By Will Batchelor, Liverpool Daily Post

ONE of the main sponsors of the Grand National was condemned last night for appearing to “relish the prospect of horses dying” in the big race.

Adverts for online gambling giant Betfair show a jockey falling from his mount and the slogan: “Long shots are only long shots until the favourites fall.” [Link to image]

Pressure group Fight Against Animal Cruelty in Europe (FAACE), which protests outside Aintree every year, described the ad as “sickening“.

FAACE chairman Tony Moore said: “This appears to relish the prospect of horses dying in the name of entertainment and gambling. They seem to be suggesting that the terrible carnage at Aintree, in which at least one horse dies nearly every year, is all part of the fun.

“They are saying ‘Don’t worry about horses breaking their legs and being shot, at least you might make a few quid out of it.’ It is absolutely sickening. This appeals to people’s basest instincts but, sadly, it reflects the fact that gamb- ling is the main reason but organ- isers will claim it is about sport.

“The British claim to be a nation of animal-lovers but must accept that one of the biggest events in the sporting calendar will see them betting on a race in which horses are almost guaranteed to die.

“Filling in those betting slips is like signing the death warrant for at least one or two animals.”

Tony Calvin of Betfair said the ad was not intended literally.

He said: “The term ‘falling’ is used metaphorically, and could also mean a horse being pulled up, unseating its jockey, tiring, or simply not running to form.

“We certainly had no intention of glorifying any potential danger to either horses or jockeys.”

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