The Grand National: One of Britain’s greatest sporting events

The Grand National is the biggest horse race in the world, and is watched by millions of people all over the United Kingdom. Many people enjoy a flutter on National Day, which is Saturday 11th April this year, and enjoy watching the horses compete over 4 miles and 3 furlongs at Aintree. Over the years, there have been many great Grand National moments and 2015 could be one of the best yet. We take a look at a few of the reasons why Brits LOVE the Grand National and why!

The excitement

The commentators help to build up the tension and, as they progress through the 30 fence circuit, those who have had a bet on horses start to get excited. Due to the length of the race, every horse is in with a chance of winning – providing that they get round safely without falling or unseating the jockey – even if your selection has a slow start. There is a general buzz across the nation on the day of the race, and Grand National fever kicks in across bookmakers all over the United Kingdom.

An excuse to dress up

For those lucky enough to get tickets for Saturday’s event, many groups choose to dress up smartly and there are even competitions on site throughout the meeting for best dressed male/female. Many stag dos, hen parties, couples, syndicates, and friendship groups all attend and contribute to an atmosphere that cannot be matched in any other sporting event. The roar of the crowd when the jockeys and horses canter past just adds to the excitement and occasion through your television set at home.

Tradition

The Grand National has been a sporting institution since 1839, with a horse called Lottery winning the first ever race. However, the race has progressed somewhat since then – as they had to scale a stone wall, cross a stretch of ploughed land and jump two hurdles compared to today’s 30-fence event! Many have grown up watching the National since a young age, and they feel obliged to at least watch the fantastic event, if they are not inclined to put a bet on. Famous horses to have won the race include Red Rum – who has a statue outside Aintree -, Foinavon – who won the 1967 race at 100/1 and now has a fence named after him – and the great Tony McCoy won his first National at the 15th attempt on Don’t Push It in 2010.

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