Scottish Grand National protests: 25 arrests after disruption at Ayr racecourse | UK News

Twenty-five people were arrested after animal rights protesters attempted to disrupt the Scottish Grand National on Saturday.

Animal Rising claimed dozens of supporters had made it onto the track and posted a video on their Twitter feed showing at least four activists breaking through the fence around the racecourse at Ayr, with some making it onto the track.

None of them successfully attached themselves to jumps and gates and they were not able to cancel or delay the big race, which was won by pre-race favourite Kitty’s Light.

Assistant Chief Constable Tim Mairs, of Police Scotland, said a “prompt and professional response by stewards and Police Scotland officers prevented this group from causing any disruption”.

He also revealed that there had been a further attempt to disrupt a later race involving a smaller group of protesters.

Mr Mairs said: “Both incidents resulted in people being safely removed and no injuries have been reported.

“Overall, there have been 25 arrests so far across the day and inquiries are continuing.”

Animal Rising activists target the Scottish Grand National
Protesters were not able to delay the race

Read more:
Animal rights groups call for jump racing ban after three horses die at Aintree
Third racehorse dies during Grand National meeting – as 118 arrested over protests before event

Sarah McCaffrey, of Animal Rising, said last week’s protest against the Grand National at Aintree had started a “crucial conversation about our relationship with animals and nature”.

“Today we continue that conversation. As a society, we love animals, but we have to find a way to care for them without harming them,” the protester said.

“This conversation is particularly important in Scotland where we have so much potential for nature and wildlife to thrive.

“We can all build a world that we are proud to be part of. An end to horse racing, as well as a transition to a plant-based food system, are key elements of this kinder, safer future.”

Ayr racecourse’s managing director David Brown praised the swift action of the police and security teams on course.

“The race went off to time, there was no notable delay and the professionalism of the team up here in Scotland was a credit to them, they dealt with it in a very efficient manner,” he said.

“What a great race it was and a great story, for Christian Williams to win it for the second year in a row with Kitty’s Light, after he finished second last year. I think for me this is Scotland’s showpiece race and it all ran to time.”

Last Saturday, more than 110 people were arrested for criminal damage and public nuisance offences after they tried to stop the Grand National at Aintree.

Nine protesters made it onto the race track and tried to attach themselves to fences. The race was delayed by 15 minutes by their actions.