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Grand National Racing Festival

The Grand National is considering one of the most prestigeous Thoroughbred horse races in the World. Famed for the courage needed by both jockey & horse, the size of the jumps & ditches are quite awesome.

In 1752, two Irishmen, Cornelius O'Callaghan and Edmund Blake, made a bet on a 4 mile race across fields, ditches & hedges in County Cork. It was called a 'steeplechase' because the steeple of the Church was the winning post. To this day, this tradition of betting on horses jumping hedges & ditches is continued throughout the world. However, it is at Aintree in Liverpool where the greatest steeplechase of them all,the Grand National, takes the stage. Only this time the winning tape has replaced the steeple.

Steeplechasing continues across the globe in Ireland, Canada, United States, Australia and France. In UK and Ireland steeple chasing is now called National Hunt racing. The rich history of the Grand national includes many fascinating stories.Not least was the champion jockey Dick Francis's sad story whereby his mount Devon Loch,the Queen Mother's horse, fell without cause as he was about to win the 1956 Grand National.Dick Francis won over 350 races & went on to become a world famous writer of thrillers set in the world of steeplechasing!