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Horse safety back in focus for Aintree Festival
The Associated Press

FILE - This is a Saturday April 14, 2012 file photo of Synchronized ridden by Tony McCoy, centre left, falls after jumping Becher's Brook during the Grand National at Aintree Racecourse, Liverpool, England. Pre-race favorite Synchronised died after collapsing during the world's toughest steeplechase The Aintree Festival, which begins on Thursday April 3, 2014 is headlined by the 4-mile slog that is the world-famous Grand National Steeplechase, begins on Thursday with as much focus on whether horses get round the grueling course in northern England in one piece as on who wins the races. Twenty-one horses have died in races over Grand National fences since 2001. The number of fatalities is on the slide, according to the British Horseracing Authority, which has made a series of modifications to the course in recent years in the face of stinging criticism. But for some, notably animal-rights campaigners, the changes can't go far enough. (AP Photo/Scott Heppell, File)

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