The trainer of a horse that died during Saturday’s Grand National in Liverpool has blamed the fatal incident on delays caused by protesters.
Hill Sixteen died after falling at the first fence at Aintree, the third horse fatality at the three-day meeting.
The start of the main race on Saturday was delayed for 14 minutes after animal rights activists entered the track.
Trainer Sandy Thomson called the protesters “ignorant” on BBC Radio 4’s Today programme.
“Everyone got very uptight, very unsettled and it was all caused by these so-called animal lovers who are actually ignorant and have absolutely no idea about the welfare of horses,” Thomson said.
Climate and animal rights group Animal Rising, who demonstrated outside Aintree, claimed on social media their actions “aimed to prevent” the death of horses.
“We want to offer our deepest condolences to anyone connected to Hill Sixteen or who has been impacted by their death,” the group said.
“Horse deaths and injuries are an unavoidable consequence of the way we use animals for sport.”
More to follow.