Search icon


11th Apr 2023

“We’re going to be turning up outside the gates of Aintree at 9.30” – Irish woman part of animal rights group set to storm Aintree

Niall McIntyre

An animal rights group are reportedly planning to storm Aintree this Saturday, on the day of the most famous event in horse-racing.

An undercover investigation by the mail on Sunday revealed the ‘Animal Rebellion’ campaign group’s plans to sabotage the race, which in effect, amount to a group of protesters breaking into the course and glueing themselves to the track before the big race.

Irish woman Orla Coghlan, a member of Animal Rising, spoke on Good Morning Britain to discuss the group’s plans.

“We’re trying to protect those horses by being there on the tracks.

“We know that every other day, a horse dies in horse-racing in the UK. We know that since 2000, over 50 horses have died at racing alone.”

Good Morning Britain host Richard Madeley quizzed Coghlan as to how the group plan to make their mark, considering that they have now lost the element of surprise.

“We’re going to be turning up outside the gates of Aintree at 9.30 on Saturday,” she said, “And we’d encourage any other animal lovers to be there with us.

“Originally we had about 100 people to take part, but now we’re looking at three hundred plus, who will be outside the gates. I’m not sure what the exact tactics are going to be on the day.”

“The question that it brings up for me is that if we love these horses so much, why is the only way that we can enjoy them, through things like horse-racing, that harm them, so much.”

The group’s initial plans involved identifying weak points around Aintree’s perimeter, where protesters could gain access using ‘ladders or bolt cutters.’

It is also rumoured that a ‘fleet of mini-buses’ is set to take the protestors the Liverpool track, with ‘safe-houses’ arranged for them to lodge in the night before the race.

Meanwhile, as a means of defence, Merseyside Police has said that it has “robust policing plans” in place to deal with “incidents that may arise”.

“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 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,” said their spokesperson.

Cheltenham victor Corach Rambler is the favourite for the race on Saturday, while defending champion Noble Yeats is next in the betting along with Delta Work and Any Second Now, who were second and third in the race last year.