As animal welfare groups renew their calls to ban Grand National after the deaths of two horses during yesterday's race, the RSPCA tells Channel 4 News it is a "critical observer".
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One campaigner described the event at Aintree as being on a par with Spanish bullfighting.
The winning horse Ballabriggs received a hero's welcome at his stables in Cheshire this morning after his victory in the national by two-and-a-quarter lengths.
Don't improve it by making it easier, or you will finish up with a bog standard four-and-a-half-mile steeplechase that basically any horse can jump. Ginger McCain
But the race was marred by the deaths of Ornais who fell at the fourth fence and Dooney Gate at Becher's Brook - causing the field to bypass the course's most famous fence second time around.
Ballabriggs need treatment for exhaustion after the race and winning jockey Jason Maguire was later handed a five day ban for excessive use of the whip. Course organisers said they were deeply upset by the deaths, but safety is always their priority. Animal rights groups however say more should be done.
Andrew Tyler, director of Animal Aid, has criticised the RSPCA for being "deeply compromised".
He told Channel 4 News: "For years it has been working with officials at the course - diddling about imagining a remedy is being produced, but it is not. The deaths keep happening."
When horses die it is not an accident. Accidents are unexpected. This is predictable. Andrew Tyler from Animal Aid
"When horses die it is not an accident. Accidents are unexpected. This is predictable. Frankly it is a breach of the animal welfare act because animals are being subjected to un-necessary suffering and the duty of care, of the course, and the owners of these horses have to those horses are being breached. There should be a prosecution, it should be banned," he added.
The RSPCA maintains that it is working with the industry towards a solution. David Muir, the equine consultant for the RSPCA, told Channel 4 News: "I think we should make it clear what the RSPCA's stance is: they are a critical observer of the industry to benefit the welfare of the horse."
'Speed does the damage'
The Grand National's most successful trainer, Ginger McCain, whose son Donald McCain trains Ballabriggs, said he was saddened by the deaths but added that making the track easier would damage the contest.
"You don't make things better by making it easier," Mr McCain said.
"It is speed that does the damage, the faster they go, the heavier they fall and the more likely they are to fall.
"You can improve it, and I don't suggest for one minute that we should stop trying to improve it, but don't improve it by making it easier or you will finish up with a bog standard four-and-a-half-mile steeplechase that basically any horse can jump."