In my view 19.4.12

So another year has passed and with it so has another Grand National, writes Sarah McLean.

And with that the lives of another two horses - According to Pete and Cheltenham Gold Cup winner Synchronised - have been lost.

I’m not against horse racing by any means but the National has never really sat well with me and with four lives lost in the past two years it is clear that big changes must be made.

One of the main points that I feel must be addressed is the number of runners. Forty is far, far too many to be tackling fences of that size and at that speed. Reduce the field to between 20 and 30.

Reduce the length of the race - four and a half miles seems to be unnecessarily excessive - and why the need for so many fences? I don’t think it would take too much from the “spectacle” to bring the number from 30 down to say 20 or 25.

Many critics of the racing industry say that it is a cruel sport with little care given to the welfare of the horses. What rubbish!

Racehorses receive the very best care and attention and owners and trainers do their utmost to ensure the wellbeing of their charges. However, that said, I can’t help but feel the most for the lad or lass who looked after the two who died in the National on a daily basis, for it is them who had to return to the heartbreak of an empty stable that evening.