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Supporter of Animal Aid campaign group, based in Tonbridge, scaled plinth in Trafalgar Square in protest against Grand National

A supporter of a Kent based animal rights group has scaled a plinth in Trafalgar Square to protest against the Grand National.

The campaigner scaled the Fourth plinth before wrapping a sculpture, called Gift Horse by Hans Haacke, in a green banner which read: “Horse Racing: You bet, they die.”

The protest has been organised by Tonbridge based Animal Aid.

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The protester placing the banner on the artwork
The protester placing the banner on the artwork

It says that 40 horses have died at the Grand National since 2000 and, of that number, 11 in the race itself.

Andrew Tyler, the organisation’s director, said: "Today, Hans Haacke’s Gift Horse stands for every horse pressed into running in the Grand National.

"By scaling Haacke’s skeletal monument and covering his bare bones – picked dry, it might be said, by a greedy racing industry – our intrepid demonstrator is calling on the public to have pity on all horses exploited by racing."

The banner on the artwork
The banner on the artwork

Many Clouds, which was ridden by Leighton Aspell, won today's race. According to the BBC it was a 40-1 punt before the event.

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