How Grand National Started

By: Gen Wright

Watching the Grand National race has become a favorite past time for millions of enthusiastic fan. The Grand National is the most popular National Hunt racing in the world. It is also one of the most exciting and controversial races due to the high number of injuries and death of the horses while competing in the race. To date, a jockey had died from injuries that was sustained during the race.

The event is a Grade 3 event for horses that are above 6 years old. It is usually conducted on a Saturday, in Liverpool. The circuit requires the horse to jump over a total of 16 fences. Only The Chair and the Water Jump will be jumped over once. The rest of the fences will be jumped over twice. The circuit is dangerous to negotiate because of the severity of some of the fences. It is while jumping over those fences that accidents happen. However, in recent years, due to immense pressure from animal activists, the severity of these fences have been reduced.

The beginnings of the Grand National dated so far back that it was unclear when it actually started. Some argued that the first race took place in 1836, while others insisted that the race started in 1837 or even 1838.

Over the years, the Grand National had produced many spectacular stories. In the 1950s, the National Grand was dominated by a certain Irish by the name of Vincent O'Brien. Vincent was a horse trainer, and he successfully trained horses that won the National Grand in 1953, 1954, and 1955.

Year 1967 was also an interesting time. Rank outsider, Foinavon, managed to came in first at the odds of 100 to 1. It was ridden by Johnny Buckingham. What happened was that two loose horses managed to put off the leading pack. The horses either stopped or refuse to continue, and had to be remounted. Foinavon was so far behind that he managed to avoid the incident altogether, and overtook 17 horses to come in as the winner.

The most famous horse of the Grand National was undoubtedly Red Rum. It is the only horse that won the Grand National three times. It won in 1973, 1974 and 1977.

The Grand National is a rather unpredictable race. From history, all kinds of unexpected or unforseen circumstances can cause even the best horses to lose the race, or the unpopular horses to win the race. Perhaps that's why millions of people are hooked to the Grand National. Even highly accomplished jockeys like Terry Biddlecombe, Stan Mellor, and Jonjo O'Neill never won the race.

The unexpected twists and turns of the Grand National provide tons of entertainment for its audiences. Even mares (female adult horses) can win this race. To date, a total of 12 mares managed to become a winner. Who would have expected that?

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