It seems like a staggering achievement because that’s exactly what it is. One man, back in 1845 became the only person in Grand National history to own, train and ride his horse to victory in the world’s greatest steeplechase.
The honour goes to Mr William Loft, who’s charge Cure-All was bought for very little money primarily because the horse had had a nasty fall which left him lame. He was taken back to his stall where he was spotted by Mr Loft who offered to take him off the dealers hands.
He then proceeded to nurse him back to health and was put in the care of the Groom, Kitty Crisp. He went on to take part in some local steeplechases before it was suggested to Mr Loft that he be entered into the Grand National at Aintree.
As this was also in the time that preceded horse boxes, Cure-All was walked to Aintree by his groom despite some pretty difficult weather conditions that included sharp frost and a very hard track. In fact some suggested the race should be called off but the decision was made to go ahead with it when conditions eased up and so Cure-All saddled up with Mr Loft on board, carrying 11-05.
Though some Aintree records indicate that William Sterling-Crawford was the registered owner of the winning horse, it was in fact William Loft but he had agreed to leased Cure-All to Sterling for the 1845 Grand National.
A rare print commemorating that unique achievement has been in the family and passed down through the generations and will now hang in the Cure-All lounge at Healing Manor when it is opened later this year, by it’s new owner Mr John Loft, great-great nephew of the late William Loft.
So despite the tremendous success of other trainers and owners that followed over the years, including Fred Rimell and Ginger McCain, none have ever managed to do what Mr William Loft did all those years ago back in 1845 – to own, train and ride a Grand National winning horse.