The Grand National

There are few events that can match a live horse race for excitement and exhilaration and even fewer that can rival the magic of the annual Grand National in the United Kingdom. The Grand National is a National Hunt horse race held at Aintree Racecourse near the city of Liverpool in England. It is one of the longest and toughest courses in the world with a horses having to jump 30 fences during two laps of the course that comes in at a distance of four miles 514 years, or 6.907 kilometres. William Lynn founded the Grand National in 1829 although there is much debate as to when the first Grand National race took place. Some say it was in 1836 and won by The Duke, which also won in 1837 before Sir William won in 1839. Records from this time are hazy at best and some believe these races took place at Maghull and

not Aintree and have therefore been removed from the official Grand National records. The 1839 race, won by Jem Mason on the horse Lottery that is referred to as the first ever Grand National race at Aintree. A famous Grand National story happened in 1928 when on the day of the race William Dutton, who was to ride Tipperary Tim, heard a friend shout out to him “Billy boy, you’ll only win if all the others fall down!” Amazingly, this actually happened with 41 of the 42 starters falling during the race, which was run in misty conditions and under very heavy going. Tipperary Tim won the race, which finished with only two riders after Billy Barton’s jockey Tommy Cullinan managed to remount and complete the course; Tipparary Tim won at 100/1 odds. In the 1970s, a horse named Red Rum began breaking a number of horse racing records in the United Kingdom and to this day is the only horse to win the Grand…