England has a lot to offer tourists, and probably one of the most iconic events is the Grand National at the Aintree Racecourse in Liverpool. This consists of a national hunt horse race which has a long history of drama, victory and controversy. It first was held in 1839. It consists of over 4 miles of track, with 30 fences and a prize fund of £1 million this year.
Aintree’s National Course is a great place to hold the race as it is unique, challenging and has much larger fences than on conventional tracks. The track and race has been named “the ultimate test of horse and rider.”
The Grand National has a lot of history. Red Rum is probably a name you have heard when The Grand National is mentioned, as this horse broke all records and became the most successful racehorse in Grand National history.
As previously mentioned, there is also a great deal of drama which comes from this event. In 1993, the whole race was declared void as a jockey got tangled in the starting tape, which didn’t rise correctly at the start. When a false start was given, no one heard the announcement, and 30 out of the 39 jockeys raced anyway!
Here are some historic and famous names linked the Grand National:
• John Buckingham and his horse Foinavon, winners in 1967;
• Jenny Pitman, who was the first woman to train the 1983 winner;
• Peter O’Sullevan, the famous commentator who worked until 1997;
• Bob Champion and horse Aldaniti, the winners of the 1981 Grand National;
• Brian Fletcher, who won three times;
• Count Karl Kinsky, the first international winner of the race in 1883.
If you can’t make the event, The Grand National is also shown on TV. In fact, it has been broadcast live on TV in the United Kingdom since 1960, now showing on Channel 4. If you’re in the UK, tune in and feel the atmosphere and buzz of the race from a distance.