The Grand National at Aintree has been a long-standing British sporting institution since 1839. The first Grand National was won by a horse named Lottery and Captain Becher fell at what is now the world famous brook. In the early days, horses jumped a stone wall, crossed ploughed land and finished over two hurdles.
The course was founded by William Lynn, a syndicate head and proprietor of the Waterloo Hotel. He agreed to lease land in Aintree from William Molyneux, 2nd Earl of Sefton. Lynn set out a course and built a grandstand for the flocking public to witness the soon to be historic event. Lord Sefton laid the foundation stone on 7 February 1829. The race was then known as the Grand Liverpool Steeplechase.
The race rose in popularity and importance with every passing year leading up to 1900. The British public took the event to their hearts and the Grand National became the sporting event of the year.
We have seen many outstanding races over the years and legends have been born from the Grand National. None more so than Red Rum. Perhaps, the greatest horse ever to be ridden, Red Rum went on to win a record three Grand National’s (1973,1974,1977).
1977 was also another landmark year as it was to see the first ever female jockey in the race, Charlotte Brew may not be a well-known name in racing today but back in 1977 she was the person all the commentators wanted to interview following her historic race.
Alot has changed over the years but one thing that hasn’t left is the sense of anticipation and excitement leading up to the big day in April. The Aintree Grand National is watched by millions worldwide and is also the biggest sporting betting fixture of the year.
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