Wonder where this one will end up
There have been mutterings for a while that jump racing would be banned in Victoria, Australia, and now it has been, from 2011. Read the story here.
As far as I'm aware, there's no equivalent mutterings here. There are some things I disagree with very strongly in racing: breaking and racing two year olds, for one, and not giving any thought to what happens to the horses after their racing career is finished for another.
However, I love National Hunt (as jump racing is called here). Horses do die, and it is absolutely terrible to watch one of those falls when you know the horse is not going to get up. When you make the death or injuring of horses into a welfare issue that you're determined to clear up, I do wonder where it will stop. Horses die eventing, show jumping and hunting, and of course hacking on the roads is not exactly safe. If you take as your premise that the horse hasn't asked to be doing x and that therefore if y can happen you must stop doing x will that leave us with simply poddling round an arena doing dressage? (And I am simply not going to open the can of worms that is dressage...)
I suppose what worries me is how you define what is an acceptable risk to the horse, and to you. I'm more worried about the horse than the human, the human being the one with choice. A lot of changes have been made to Aintree over the years, for example. It's much safer than it was. I don't think you can remove 100% of the risk for the horse, whatever you're doing: riding is a partnership, and either you or the horse might get something wrong. It comes down to how much death you're prepared to tolerate, and I suppose if I look at the issue rationally, I obviously am prepared to accept a small amount of death, although I hate it.