Horse racing is recognised as a popular pastime in Britain and is only exceeded by football. The number of fans and punters that follow and watch their heroes notices a growing trend in the last years. But, it isn’t only about the sports, as British horse racing has become a synonym for high fashion, Michelin star cuisine and place where A-list celebrities meet.
The royal family played a big role in establishing the horse racing culture and tradition in Britain, standing strong and still for many centuries. The earliest horse races in Great Britain are believed to have been held in Yorkshire around 200 AD by the Roman Empire’s soldiers. In years that followed, there have been regular horse fairs in the country, and it is believed that horse races often took place at these events. The first-ever official record of a horse race takes us back in 1174 at London’s horse fair.
From the Royal Ascot to the Epsom Derby, Brits have set the standards when it comes to worldwide recognised horse racing events. Today, we’ll look at The Grand National, one of the most popular horse races that take place at Aintree Racecourse in Liverpool.
The 2021 Grand National will be held on April 10th, and the prize fund reaches an astounding £1 million, making it the most valuable jump race in Europe. News outlets predict that over 600 million people will watch the race in over 140 countries.
In this blog post, we’ll pay tribute to the history and fun facts of, without a doubt, one of the biggest horse race event that takes place each year – The Grand National.
The Grand National Early Days
The Grand National dates since 1839, and most of the runnings have been continually held at Aintree Racecourse. Unlike many of England’s top races, this one takes place in a residential area, the part that makes it so unique. This race is associated with the high class and prestige that goes along with it, so much that it’s the country’s important cultural event.
The horse called Lottery became the first winner of the event. The fences across the field back then were made of stone, and part of the course was a freshly ploughed land. Official records note that Lottery ran across the finish line and won with odds at 5-1.
Also known as a “National Hunt” race, competing horses have to jump over different fences during the course of the race on this event. This occasion tends to be exciting and unpredictable at the same time. The race itself has faced a lot of controversy in the community, as many believe that the risk of injury to horse and riders is too high. At this event, horses compete for two laps and a 4.5-mile course, jumping 30 fences along the way.
Red Rum's Story
Red Rum is the only horse in the history of The Grand National race to win three times. In total, this horse ran at Liverpool’s course seven times, and on the occasions, he did not win the race, he came second. His place in the history of the Grand National will never be forgotten, and you can find his statue at the course. Moreover, he was also honoured to have his resting place in one of his favourite places. Today, Red Rum is buried with his head facing the winning post at the Aintree course.
Grand National’s Fun Facts
When it comes to the anecdotes and fun facts related to this prestigious event, you’ll read many of those that will make you scratch your head at times. For example, did you know that back in 1967, the horse called Foinavon won at odds 100-1, making this competition the most unforgettable of all time! Who says that there’s no room for the impossible, right?
There are a few series of fortunate and not that fortunate events that have happened at the Grand National derby. One of them was undoubtedly competing for Ripley’s, believe it or not, edition. Back in 1855, during the race, one of the jockeys called Sam Darling fell off his horse and was knocked out. Then, the horse that was coming towards him knocked the jockey in the head, but believe it or not, this action, in fact, revived Sam.
Try Online Bingo Today
Apart from football and horse racing, the bingo game has been known to be one of the most popular pastimes too. The online space has made bingo practically accessible to everybody at any time. The rise in popularity of online bingo has reinvented the way we look at and this game. Many developers have launched plenty of unique and entertaining bingo games where you can benefit from custom bonuses and offers. This weekend is perfect for throwing a virtual bingo party after the race and be a host of your bingo chat room where you can discuss and cheer with your friends when they win.