Sponsor of Grand National condemned

Betfair, the betting exchange website and one of the main sponsors of the Grand National, has been attacked for its recent advertising campaign promoting the highlight horserace of the year.

The Betfair adverts, which are on billboards all over the country, depict a jockey falling off a horse with the slogan “Long shots are only long shots until the favourites fall” underneath.

The ads have been described as "sickening" by the pressure group Fight Against Animal Cruelty in Europe (FAACE) with chairman Tony Moore saying that Betfair are "suggesting that the terrible carnage at Aintree, in which at least one horse dies nearly every year, is all part of the fun."

Betfair defended the adverts by claiming they were not supposed to be taken so literally.

"The term ‘falling’ is used metaphorically, and could also mean a horse being pulled up, unseating its jockey, tiring, or simply not running to form," said Tony Calvin, Betfair Sports and Horseracing PR manager.

"We certainly had no intention of glorifying any potential danger to either horses or jockeys."

The John Smiths Grand National is this Saturday at 15:15 at Aintree. Joes Edge is current 8/1 favourite.

Editor, Jackpot.co.uk - 2007-04-11 11:32:50

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