Race Weekend – The UK’s Derby

How was your weekend?

We were in race mode. Sunday morning I baked homemade banana bread and we enjoyed an amazing F1 race; coming off of a spectacular Saturday in which we watched The Grand National – a horse race that is like the Kentucky Derby on steroids.

The Grand National at Aintree has been a British sporting institution since 1839. John Smith’s Grand National, Aintree is one of the world’s most famous racecourses.
The Grand National (also known simply as the National) is a world-famous National Hunt horse race which is held annually at Aintree Racecourse, near Liverpool, England. It is a handicap steeplechase run over a distance of 4 miles and 856 yards (7,242 m), with horses jumping thirty fences.

That’s right, 4 miles with jumps, and did I mention 40 horses? The course is unreal. Seeing highlights of past races made was highly emotional. The sport is intense and it seems to take a casualty each year.

This year’s Grand National packed plenty of drama. The race ended with a photo finish and with 15 of the 40 starters completing the course. You’ll see throughout the race horses still in the hunt without their jockeys, as jockeys were previously unseated after jumps. It’s bizarre and intense. I had my hand over my mouth for much of the race.


Sadly, two horses suffered fatal injuries and were put down. Twenty horses have died in races since 2001. Gut-wrenching.

According to news reports, this race’s history is in peril:
“There is no doubt this is a black day for the Grand National and for horse racing. Nobody should under-estimate it – this is very serious for everyone in the racing industry. A big dark cloud hangs over the Grand National. Its future is in a certain amount of doubt.”

The news since the race has been absolutely buzzing about changes that should be done or considerations to cancel the race altogether.

This race is the UK’s Derby and the history and passion behind the race is beautiful. I am sure there are many avid horse enthusiasts out there, but for me I don’t think you’ll ever find me at a race.

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