Animal Rising say they will invade track before the Grand National

Animal rights group – whose plot to disrupt Grand National Day was smashed by the Mail – say they will invade the track before the race starts on Saturday

  • Police said they will ‘robustly’ defend the race from animal rights campaigners 

Animal Rising activists plan to scale the fences and enter the track of Aintree Racecourse before the Grand National race begins, the group has said.

An undercover investigation by the Mail on Sunday previously exposed an Animal Rising plot to have more than 100 members disrupt the Grand National.

Now the climate and animal rights group have said that up to 300 activists will attend the race from 9.30am on Saturday where they intend to prevent the race from starting.

Police have already announced they will ‘robustly’ defend the race from the militant vegans and animal rights campaigners. 

The activists will also block traffic by performing a slow march along Ormskirk Road, the main access route.

Animal Rising activists plan to scale the fences and enter the track of Aintree Racecourse before the Grand National race begins. Pictured: Horses clear one of the fences in the 2022 edition of the world-famous steeplechase race 

Nathan McGovern, a spokesperson, said: ‘We do plan to be periodically blocking Ormskirk Road, the access road to the front of the racecourse, to disrupt the entry to the venue throughout the day.

Read more: Undercover investigation exposes plan by up to 100 Animal Rebellion activists to storm the event and glue themselves to the course 

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‘The group of people at the front will be peacefully attempting to make their way over perimeter fences/walls at the front of Aintree before the Grand National race begins with the intention of making their way onto the track.

‘And all of this is before the race even starts. We will not be entering the track if there are horses and jockeys riding.’

Merseyside Police said they have a ‘robust policing plan in place’ and are working with Aintree’s owners The Jockey Club in preparation for any incidents.

One horse has already died at the Grand National Festival – Envoye Special, ridden by James King – after it fell in the Foxhunters’ Chase just after 4pm on Thursday.

It is the 60th horse to have died at Aintree in the past 23 years.

Animal Rising, which changed its name from Animal Rebellion on Monday to move away from the umbrella of Extinction Rebellion, wants to use UK horseracing’s biggest calendar event to highlight the ‘broken relationship’ between humans and animals.

Mr McGovern said: ‘It’s a spotlight that we really need to be using to push a national conversation about our broken relationship, not only with horses but with all the animals that we use, whether that’s for food, fun, entertainment and dog and horse racing.

Jim Edwards (pictured), the former founding editor of the UK website of Business Insider, is involved with militant Animal Rebellion

Merseyside Police has vowed to deal ‘robustly’ with any protesters. Pictured: Armed officers at the entrance of Aintree Racecourse at last year’s Grand National

‘This is very much about a bigger picture of recognising that, in a nation of animal lovers, we’re not really living up to those values with our actions.’

READ MORE HERE: The business guru turned eco-activist plotting to wreck the Grand National

Animal Rising’s plans for the Grand National first became public when an undercover Mail on Sunday reporter attended a meeting earlier this month.

They said the activists planned to use ladders and bolt cutters to get through Aintree’s perimeter fencing.

A spokesperson for Merseyside Police said: ‘Merseyside Police has a robust policing plan in place for Aintree, as it does for any major public event, to ensure the safety and wellbeing of everyone involved.

‘We have been working with our partners, including The Jockey Club, for a number of months in the build-up to this year’s festival to ensure that any necessary plans and processes are in place to deal with any incidents that may arise and to prevent any significant or ongoing disruption to racegoers and local residents and businesses.

‘We respect the right to peaceful protest and expression of views, but public order or criminal offences will not be tolerated and will be dealt with robustly.’

A spokesperson for the British Horseracing Authority said: ‘While we respect the rights of anyone to protest safely and legally, we condemn any action which is illegal, especially if it puts at risk the safety of horses, jockeys, officials or fans.’

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