I ALWAYS read Ken Holmes’s letters with great interest, but I believe that the murderous Grand National should be banned.

If two jockeys were killed two years running, there would be hell to pay. But these beautiful creatures were only animals and well-insured, so warrant a less importance. I disagree that animal charities should keep out of these matters – they only have animal welfare at heart and deserve more support.

A lot of loving care is given to these horses, but people enjoy watching others taking risks. So tight-rope walkers and the like will always be popular. But at least if they kill themselves, it is because they choose to. Animals are different: we expect them to feed us, to entertain us, to work for us and to die for us, if necessary. If there was no insurance against the death of racehorses, dangerous races would lose their appeal.

Unfortunately, money always talks the loudest.

Heather Causnett, Escrick Park Gardens, Escrick, York.

• KEN HOLMES’S opinion is far from “humble” (Soap Box, April 26).

Everyone who proclaims to be “passionate about the welfare of racehorses” would celebrate the banning of this dreadful annual spectacle.

Animal Aid, Horse World Welfare and the RSPCA are not busybodies. They are organisations dedicated to the alleviation of animal suffering.

It is interesting that Mr Holmes mentions “accidents which happen in all walks of life”.

The Grand National is not merely a walk of life; it is four-and-a-half miles of gruelling steeplechasing, frequently ending in tragedy for our noble four-legged friends.

Yvonne Knowles, Foss Grange, Crayke, York.