We are getting closer to the final 40 for the 2017 Aintree Grand National, which is now less than a month away. Some of the world’s best jockeys and horses will take to the course and attempt to navigate one of the most difficult races in the sport.
It is not just the winners of this race that become legends. Throughout the years, some of the fences have grown a reputation of their own. Here we have a look at some of the big race’s most famous fences.
Perhaps the most famous of all the jumps, Becher’s brook is the sixth and 22nd fence the horses will jump on April 8th. It may not be the largest of the fences on the course, but it is one of the most difficult and usually takes a few horses down.
The main reason for its difficulty is the fact that the landing side is 10 inches lower than the take off side. The infamous fence got its name from Captain Martin Becher – a jockey who fell at it and hid in the jump to prevent further injury.
After falling from his mount, Conrad, Becher hid in the fence as other horses in the 1839 race jumped over him. A crazy story which is fitting for a legendary fence.
From this race has come many infamous stories – one of them is that of Valentine’s Brook. This is named after a horse who took part in the 1840 race.
It is alleged that the mount jumped the fence backwards, hence creating a story which would live on in Grand National folklore forever more and even have a fence named after it.
The tallest fence on the whole course gets its name from the fact that the distance judge used to sit beside it. It stands at an impressive five foot three inches and has taken down many rides throughout the years.
If your horse gets over this, then that’s a good deal of the battle already won.
It’s not the biggest fence on the race, but back in 1967, it was the most treacherous. It took down or disrupted almost every horse in the field.
The only horse to get over it without issue was Foinavon and he became a 100/1 winner and renowned for being one of the bravest rides in history.
One of the most technically difficult parts of the course – this fence requires the horses and jockeys to take a sharp turn after jumping a five-foot obstacle.
A race myth is that horses who refused to jump this turn once ended up in the Leeds and Liverpool canal – thankfully it is only a myth, though.
There you have it – some of the most famous fences on a course that is sure to thrill and inspire on April 8th. Whoever you back, we hope they make it over each one safely!