Marita Mandell

Marita Mandell

Modified & Updated: 09 Sep 2023


The Grand National horse race is one of the most esteemed and thrilling events in the world of horse racing. Held annually at Aintree Racecourse in Liverpool, England, it captivates millions of spectators both on and off the track. This prestigious steeplechase has a rich history dating back to the mid-19th century, and it continues to draw a global audience of horse racing enthusiasts.

In this article, we will explore 13 fascinating facts about the Grand National horse race, shedding light on its origins, notable moments, and enduring traditions. From the formidable challenges faced by horses and jockeys to the incredible records set throughout the years, we will delve into the captivating world of this legendary equestrian event. So, saddle up and get ready to dive into the heart-pounding excitement of the Grand National horse race!

Table of Contents

The Origins of the Grand National

The Grand National Horse Race traces its roots back to 1839, making it one of the longest-running races in history. The inaugural race was held at Aintree Racecourse near Liverpool, England. Since then, it has become an annual tradition, captivating equestrian enthusiasts and sports fans worldwide. The race covers a distance of 4 miles and 514 yards, featuring iconic obstacles that test both the skill of the jockeys and the athleticism of the horses.

The Infamous Fences

One of the most thrilling aspects of the Grand National are the formidable fences that challenge the competitors. The race is known for its iconic jumps, including Becher’s Brook, Canal Turn, and The Chair. These fences have claimed their fair share of falls and surprises over the years, adding to the drama and unpredictability of the race.

A Record-Breaking Finish

In 1973, the Grand National witnessed a truly remarkable moment when Red Rum claimed his third victory, an unprecedented feat that has yet to be matched. Trained by Ginger McCain, Red Rum became an enduring legend in the horse racing world, solidifying his place in history as one of the greatest racehorses of all time.

A Test of Endurance

The Grand National is not just a test of speed and skill; it is also a supreme test of endurance. The demanding course pushes both horse and rider to their limits, requiring stamina, agility, and mental fortitude to navigate the formidable obstacles and cross the finish line.

The Global Audience

The Grand National Horse Race has a global following, attracting millions of viewers and spectators from around the world. Its universal appeal lies in the excitement of seeing top-class racehorses and jockeys compete in a thrilling contest that showcases the beauty and majesty of the sport.

A Day of Celebration

The Grand National is not just about the race itself; it is a day of celebration and festivity. Spectators don their finest attire and gather to witness this legendary event, enjoying the vibrant atmosphere, delicious food, and exhilarating entertainment that accompanies the race.

A Betting Bonanza

The Grand National is renowned for its betting frenzy, with millions of pounds wagered on the outcome of the race. From seasoned punters to casual bettors, this event captivates the gambling world, leading to a multitude of predictions, odds, and anticipation.

A Thrilling History

The Grand National has witnessed countless dramatic moments throughout its history. From miraculous comebacks to shocking upsets, this race has provided fans with unforgettable stories that have become part of its enduring legacy.

Multiple Winners

Over the years, several horses have managed to secure victory on multiple occasions. Legends like Red Rum, Tiger Roll, and Reynoldstown have etched their names in Grand National history, showcasing their exceptional talents and tenacity.

Charitable Contributions

Aside from the excitement and spectacle, the Grand National also contributes to charitable causes. The race supports various charities, raising funds for important causes while bringing attention to their missions.

A Day for Heroes

The Grand National is not only about the horses and jockeys; it is also a day when the unsung heroes behind the scenes play a crucial role. Trainers, stable staff, and veterinary teams work tirelessly to ensure that the horses are in peak condition and ready to tackle the demanding course.

A Showcase of Tradition

The Grand National is steeped in tradition, celebrating the rich heritage of horse racing. From the playing of “God Save the Queen” to the parade of horses, this event pays homage to the timeless customs and rituals that have made it an integral part of British culture.

A Source of Inspiration

The Grand National Horse Race serves as a beacon of inspiration for aspiring jockeys, trainers, and horse enthusiasts. It exemplifies the power of perseverance, determination, and the unbreakable bond between humans and horses.

In Conclusion

The Grand National Horse Race has carved its place in the annals of sporting history. Its rich heritage, thrilling moments, and enduring legacy have made it a true spectacle of equestrian excellence. So, whether you are a seasoned racing aficionado or new to the world of horse racing, the Grand National is an event that should not be missed.


In conclusion, the Grand National Horse Race is an iconic event that captivates millions of viewers around the world. With its rich history, challenging course, and thrilling atmosphere, it has become one of the most prestigious horse racing events. The race brings together top-notch jockeys and remarkable horses, creating a spectacle that is both breathtaking and exhilarating.From the fascinating facts about the Grand National, such as its unique handicapping system and famous winners, to the incredible obstacles like Becher’s Brook and The Chair, this race has stood the test of time and continues to capture the imagination of horse racing enthusiasts. Whether you’re a seasoned fan or a newcomer to the sport, the Grand National is sure to leave you on the edge of your seat.So, mark your calendars and get ready to experience the electrifying atmosphere and nail-biting finishes of the Grand National Horse Race. It’s a true testament to the power and grace of these incredible animals, and a celebration of the sport of horse racing.


1. When does the Grand National take place?

The Grand National is usually held in early April, on a Saturday. The exact date may vary from year to year.

2. How long is the Grand National course?

The Grand National course is approximately 4 miles and 2 ½ furlongs long, making it one of the longest and most challenging courses in horse racing.

3. How many horses participate in the Grand National?

Up to 40 horses can participate in the Grand National, with each horse having unique odds and handicaps based on their previous performances.

4. What are some of the famous obstacles in the Grand National?

Some of the famous obstacles in the Grand National include Becher’s Brook, The Chair, and the Canal Turn. These jumps test the skill and bravery of both horses and jockeys.

5. Has there ever been a female winner of the Grand National?

Yes, in fact, there have been three female jockeys who have won the Grand National: Charlotte Brew, Geraldine Rees, and Rachael Blackmore.

6. How much prize money is awarded to the winner of the Grand National?

The prize money for the winner of the Grand National is typically over £1 million, making it one of the richest horse racing events in the world.