Grand National

Grand National

One annual National Hunt race is the Grand National. Held at Liverpool, England’s Aintree Racecourse, the first year this race was run was 1839. This race is run in a handicap steeplechase that spans 4 miles 514 yards. Horses must take two laps around the track while jumping over 30 races. There is no more valuable race in Europe. In 2017 the prize fund was £1 million. A prominent British event, the Grand National is followed by people who otherwise don’t follow horseracing.

The track this race is run on has fences that are significantly larger than those at standard racetracks used for the National Hunt. A few of these courses that have become famous as a result are Canal Turn, Becher’s Brook and The Chair. Each of them has found their own fame and has created what is said to be a horse and rider’s ultimate test.

Since 1960 the Grand National has aired on network television in the U.K. The BBC broadcast this event from 1960 through 2012. Channel 4 in the U.K. aired it from 2013 to 2016. In 2017 ITV gained the right to air this event. Throughout more than 140 countries 500 to 600 million people were estimated to have watched the Grand National. It has also been an event broadcasted on radio as far back as 1927. Though the BBC originally had the exclusive rights to this event, they now share that right with Talksport.

In 2017 One for Arthur won the race. Derek Fox was the rider and the horse’s trainer was Randox Health. April of 2018 will be when the next Grand National race takes place. Currently the sponsor of the race and a festival that celebrates it is Randox Health.