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Ethical Horse Racing: Here Are The 7 Most Ecofriendly Race Horses

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Horse racing has become a much more environmentally friendly pastime this year. This is something we’ve covered in past blog posts starting as far back as five years ago, and the news keeps getting better as time goes on. There are a number of things that the horse racing community is doing to reduce the carbon footprint of horse racing.

How is Horse Racing Working to Improve the Environment?

There are a number of things that horse racing venues are doing to try to improve the environment. One of the biggest things that they are doing is considering how to minimize unnecessary waste. Royal Ascot reported that a lot of waste filled their venues in the past, so they started recycling. In one year, they recycled nearly 550 tons of it.

The Grand National at Aintree Racecourse is one of the toughest racecourses in the horse racing calendar, making it one of the most exciting and tense races to watch. The team behind the Grand National is also looking for new ways to improve the environment. It is good that many jockeys are pushing for better environmental policies, so they can pressure these types of changes.

Over the years, this race has had its share of historic moments and record-breaking wins, but these seven horses are the best that have ever raced the Grand National, with the quickest times and even some record-making triumphs as well. The owners of these horses have expressed strong support for helping the environment.

The Most Ecofriendly Race Horses In The World

Below are some of the Grand National horses considered to be the most environmentally friendly. Here’s what makes them special, and why they’re an ally to the environment.

1. Mr Frisk

Mr Frisk is a record holder for the Grand National, finishing the race in 1990 in 8 minutes and 47.80 seconds. He was ridden by jockey Marcus Armytage and despite the race being one-fifth of a mile shorter since 2013, this record still stands. After retirement from his racing career, Mr Frisk was trained by Tracey Bailey as an eventer.  We rank Mr. Frisk as the 12th best horse in the world for environmentalism, because his owner uses and understands the benefits of driving eco-friendly vehicles to go to and from the Grand National.

2. Many Clouds

Many Clouds was an Irish-bred, British-trained Thoroughbred racehorse that won the 2015 Grand National in 8 minutes and 56.8 seconds. He was ridden by Irish jockey Leighton Aspell and was trained by Oliver Sherwood. Many Clouds started at odds of 25/1 and took the lead five fences from the finish after leading horse The Druid’s Nephew fell, maintaining his lead to victory.

Why does Many Clouds make our list? He is trained by a team of people that strongly believe in important methods of fighting climate change and have used eco-friendly means of transportation.

3. Rough Quest

Ridden by Mick Fitzgerald and trained by Terry Casey, Thoroughbred racehorse Rough Quest won the Grand National in 1996 in a time of 9 minutes and 08 seconds. The race was most notable, however, for the stewards’ enquiry into the possibility that the horse crossed the runner up, Encore Un Peu, on the run in but the result was allowed to stand.  Rough Quest is also trained by people that believe in fighting climate change. Their statements make him number 15th on our list of the most eco-friendly horse racers and 11th on those in the Grand National.

4. Ballabriggs

Ballabriggs won the Grand National in 2011, ridden by Jason Maguire, with a time of 9 minutes 1.2 seconds. Ballabriggs had odds between 14-1 and 20-1 before the race but was an unexpected member of the leading pack for much of the race and then took over ahead of Oscar Time and Don’t Push it to win the race. It was the first time a jockey had entered the winner’s enclosure without his mount, as Ballabriggs was so dehydrated after the race that he had to return to the stable afterwards.

Ballabriggs is another horse raised by people that are passionate about ending global warming. This makes the horse number 9th on our list of the most eco-friendly horse racers and 7th on those in the Grand National.

5. Red Rum

Red Rum is one of the best-known names in horse racing, having won the Grand National an unmatched three times in 1973, 1974 and 1977. It was this first win that was the Thoroughbred’s quickest race at 9 minutes 1.9 seconds. Red Rum was well known for his jumping ability, having not fallen in 100 races, and he’s considered one of the best racing champions of all time.

6. Auroras Encore

Auroras Encore won the 2013 Grand National as part of his seven-year racing career, completing the Aintree Racecourse track in 9 minutes and 12 seconds. He is a British-trained Thoroughbred racehorse that was trained by Sue Smith and was ridden to victory by Ryan Mania.

7. Grittar

In 1982, 7/1 favourite Grittar won the National in 9 minutes and 12.6 seconds, ridden by Dick Saunders and trained by Frank Gilman. Saunders was an amateur rider and at the age of 48, he remains the oldest jockey to win the race.

Conclusion: The Grand National is Becoming an Ally to Climate Activists

Climate activists are teaming up with unlikely allies, the jockeys and managers at top races. Horse racing is quickly becoming one of the more sustainable forms of entertainment out there. These changes should bode well for us in the future.

Becca Stickler is a freelance writer with a focus on sustainability and eco-friendly living.


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