ON Saturday I watched the Grand National which has been as much a part of our sporting scene as anything else for many, many years.
Ask any jump jockey which race would be the one which would make his career unforgettable and you would not get a prize for forecasting his answer.
But sure enough a day later and into the week we get the usual people complaining about the unfortunate death of two racehorses.
Nobody more than the jockeys, owners, trainers and everybody involved with these horses were more affected by these deaths.
I have seen the improvements that have been made to make the course and jumps more acceptable to all the critics but could I ask these people an obvious question: “Should we stop people from climbing Everest (or any other mountain) because of the obvious danger involved?”
If we looked at all sports involving danger we would be taking away the challenge which drives many people to compete in these sports.
Why do most horses that lose their jockeys always seem to carry on running and jumping the fences when the critics seem to claim of the cruelty of the race.
I have seen the results of a horse not wanting to jump or run when I have backed them!
The Grand National was correctly named and regarded as the greatest jump race we have and watched and attended by people from all over the world.
I would challenge anyone to try and make most hazardous sports 100 per cent safe except by banning them and many, many other sports.
Finally may I add that some of what we regard as our bravest heroes in sport are men who faced dangers and sometimes death because of the challenge to face those very things.
Les Woods, Reginald Road, Sutton.