Protest targeting Scottish Grand National sees 25 arrested, say police

About 25 people have been arrested after animal rights activists stormed the track at Ayr Racecourse to stop the Scottish Grand National.

Animal Rising protesters climbed under and over fences and invaded the track around 3.20pm ahead of the £200,000 race.

The group, which delayed the start of the Grand National at Aintree last week, said activists “were trying to cling to ramparts and gates” to stop the race, which Jack Tudor-ridden Kitty’s Light was winning.

The protest also failed to delay the event as the break in the 18 horse race was recorded as 3.38pm.

Deputy Chief Constable Tim Mairs said that a “quick and professional response from stewards and Scottish Police officers prevented this group from causing any disturbance” and that there had been “another attempt to allow a later race with a smaller group of protesters disturb”.

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

“There have been a total of 25 arrests so far during the day and the investigation continues.”

The protest comes just seven days after the group managed to get onto the track at Aintree, delaying the Grand National by around 15 minutes.

Animal Rising’s Sarah McCaffrey said last week’s protest sparked “a pivotal conversation about our relationship with animals and nature”.

“Today we continue this conversation. As a society we love animals but we need to find a way to take care of 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 a part of. Ending horse racing and moving to a plant-based diet are key elements of that brighter, safer future.”

There was an increased security presence due to the protests in Aintree where 118 people were arrested by Merseyside Police.

But on Saturday it was just a handful of participants and Ayr’s chief executive David Brown praised the quick action taken by police and security teams on course.

“The race was on time, there was no delay to speak of and the professionalism of the team up here in Scotland is down to them, they handled it very efficiently,” he said after the Scottish Grand National.

“What a great race it was and great story for (coach) Christian Williams to win it for the second year in a row with Kitty’s Light after coming second last year. I think for me this is Scotland’s flagship race and it was all about time.”

Russell Falcon

Russell Falcon is a USTimesPost U.S. News Reporter based in London. His focus is on U.S. politics and the environment. He has covered climate change extensively, as well as healthcare and crime. Russell Falcon joined USTimesPost in 2023 from the Daily Express and previously worked for Chemist and Druggist and the Jewish Chronicle. He is a graduate of Cambridge University. Languages: English. You can get in touch with me by emailing

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