Sadly today’s Grand National steeplechase resulted in the deaths of two poor thoroughbreds, one of them the high profile winner of last month’s Cheltenham Gold Cup, Synchronized. People are speaking about a “strange atmosphere” at Aintree racecourse, because of what was seen as a very close and exciting finish set against the tragic deaths, which left TV commentator Clare Balding visibly moved. Previously, presenters tried to divert attention from this unacceptable side of horse racing, but today the horses’ deaths have dominated the news reports. Perhaps the scales are falling from the eyes of many people involved in the racing industry – today will make a lot of people think about this welfare issue for the first time, and it will be the tipping point for others. Place this event with the online petition to ban equestrian sports, and Animal Aid’s Racehorse Deathwatch, and these horses’ tragic deaths may contribute to a further small shift in the perceived norm, in terms of how we understand and respond to our various uses of horses.