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Encyclopedia > Aintree Grand National

The Grand National is the premier horse race over fences in the United Kingdom. Usually held on a Saturday in early April at the Aintree racecourse near Liverpool, the current National race is run over two circuits of the Aintree course, covering approximately four and half miles. The horses jump 30 fences (16 individuals, 2 jumped only on the first circuit), some of which have acquired near_legendary status for their severity, particularly Becher's Brook and The Chair, although in recent years this severity has been much reduced, due to pressure from various animal cruelty agencies. The National is the centerpiece of a three-day meeting, one of only two run at Aintree in the racing season.


There is much debate among historians regarding the first official race held at Aintree and most who have trawled the newspaper libraries of the United Kingdom now prefer the idea that the first running was in 1836 and was won by The Duke. This same horse triumphed again in 1837 while Sir William was the winner in 1838.


The only horse to ever win the Grand National three times was Red Rum who won in 1973, 1974, and in 1977.


A fictional account of a young girl training the winner of the Grand National by Edith Bagnold was made into a film, National Velvet, starring the young Elizabeth Taylor as the heroine, Velvet Brown. The events surrounding the 1981 National, and the winning jockey, Bob Champion, were also dramatised in the film Champions.


In 1993, the result of the race was declared void after a series of start-line incidents, where the starting tape failed to rise correctly, causing several horses and jockeys to be caught up in it, and were unable to clear the start line. A false start was declared, but lack of communication between course officials meant that seven horses ran the course in its entirety, forcing a void result.


In 1997, the 150th National, the Saturday meeting was abandoned after two coded bomb threats were received, reportedly from the Irish Republican Army. 60,000 spectators, jockeys, race personnel and local residents were evacuated, and the course was locked down by police. The race was eventually run on the Monday, with the meeting organisers offering free admission. Some 20,000 people were left stranded over the weekend, with cars and coaches locked in the course. With limited accommodation space in the city and surrounding areas, those local residents not affected by the incident opened their doors and took in many of those stranded.


The Grand National is one of ten events reserved for live broadcast on UK terrestrial television under the ITC Code on Sports and Other Listed Events.


Winning horses

  • 1836 The Duke
  • 1837 The Duke
  • 1838 Sir William
  • 1839 Lottery
  • 1840 Jerry
  • 1841 Charity
  • 1842 Gay Lad
  • 1843 Vanguard
  • 1844 Discount
  • 1845 Cure All
  • 1846 Pioneer
  • 1847 Matthew
  • 1848 Chandler
  • 1849 Peter Simple
  • 1850 Abd-El-Kader
  • 1851 Abd-El-Kader
  • 1852 Miss Mowbray
  • 1853 Peter Simple
  • 1854 Bourton
  • 1855 Wanderer
  • 1856 Freetrader
  • 1857 Emigrant
  • 1858 Little Charley
  • 1859 Half Caste
  • 1860 Anatis
  • 1861 Jealousy
  • 1862 The Huntsman
  • 1863 Emblem
  • 1864 Emblematic
  • 1865 Alcibiade
  • 1866 Salamander
  • 1867 Cortolvin
  • 1868 The Lamb
  • 1869 The Colonel
  • 1870 The Colonel
  • 1871 The Lamb
  • 1872 Casse Tete
  • 1873 Disturbance
  • 1874 Reugny
  • 1875 Pathfinder
  • 1876 Regal
  • 1877 Austerlitz
  • 1878 Shifnal
  • 1879 The Liberator
  • 1880 Empress
  • 1881 Woodbrook
  • 1882 Seaman
  • 1883 Zoedone
  • 1884 Voluptuary
  • 1885 Roquefort
  • 1886 Old Joe
  • 1887 Gamecock
  • 1888 Playfair
  • 1889 Frigate
  • 1890 Ilex
  • 1891 Come Away
  • 1892 Father O'Flynn
  • 1893 Cloister
  • 1894 Why Not
  • 1895 Wild Man From Borneo
  • 1896 The Soarer
  • 1897 Manifesto
  • 1898 Drogheda
  • 1899 Manifesto
  • 1900 Ambush II
  • 1901 Grudon
  • 1902 Shannon Lass
  • 1903 Drumcree
  • 1904 Moifaa
  • 1905 Kirkland
  • 1906 Ascetic's Silver
  • 1907 Eremon
  • 1908 Rubio
  • 1909 Lutteur III
  • 1910 Jenkinstown
  • 1911 Glenside
  • 1912 Jerry M
  • 1913 Covertcoat
  • 1914 Sunloch
  • 1915 Ally Sloper
  • 1916-1918 - not run due to World War I
  • 1919 Poethlyn
  • 1920 Troytown
  • 1921 Shaun Spadah
  • 1922 Music Hall
  • 1923 Sergeant Murphy
  • 1924 Master Robert
  • 1925 Double Chance
  • 1926 Jack Horner
  • 1927 Sprig
  • 1928 Tipperary Tim
  • 1929 Gregalach
  • 1930 Shaun Goilin
  • 1931 Grakle
  • 1932 Forbra
  • 1933 Kellsboro'
  • 1934 Golden Miller
  • 1935 Reynoldstown
  • 1936 Reynoldstown
  • 1937 Royal Mail
  • 1938 Battleship
  • 1939 Workman
  • 1940 Bogskar
  • 1941-1945 - not run due to World War II
  • 1946 Lovely Cottage
  • 1947 Caughoo
  • 1948 Sheila's Cottage
  • 1949 Russian Hero
  • 1950 Freebooter
  • 1951 Nickel Coin
  • 1952 Teal
  • 1953 Early Mist
  • 1954 Royal Tan
  • 1955 Quare Times
  • 1956 E.S.B.
  • 1957 Sundew
  • 1958 Mr What
  • 1959 Oxo
  • 1960 Merryman II
  • 1961 Nicolaus Silver
  • 1962 Kilmore
  • 1963 Ayala
  • 1964 Team Spirit
  • 1965 Jay Trump
  • 1966 Anglo
  • 1967 Foinavon
  • 1968 Red Alligator
  • 1969 Highland Wedding
  • 1970 Gay Trip
  • 1971 Specify
  • 1972 Well To Do
  • 1973 Red Rum
  • 1974 Red Rum
  • 1975 L'Escargot
  • 1976 Rag Trade
  • 1977 Red Rum
  • 1978 Lucius
  • 1979 Rubstic
  • 1980 Ben Nevis
  • 1981 Aldaniti
  • 1982 Grittar
  • 1983 Corbiere
  • 1984 Hallo Dandy
  • 1985 Last Suspect
  • 1986 West Tip
  • 1987 Maori Venture
  • 1988 Rhyme 'n' Reason
  • 1989 Little Polveir
  • 1990 Mr Frisk
  • 1991 Seagram
  • 1992 Party Politics
  • 1993 Race declared void, Esha Ness finished first
  • 1994 Miinnehoma
  • 1995 Royal Athlete
  • 1996 Rough Quest
  • 1997 Lord Gyllene (meeting was abandoned due to IRA bomb scare, rerun on the Monday)
  • 1998 Earth Summit
  • 1999 Bobbyjo
  • 2000 Papillon
  • 2001 Red Marauder
  • 2002 Bindaree
  • 2003 Monty's Pass
  • 2004 Amberleigh House





 
 

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