The Grand National is one of the most iconic horse racing events in the world, and for many years it has been a popular event for both horse and human participants. However, as with any horse race, there is a risk of injury or even death for the horses involved. So, did any horses die in the Grand National?
The History of Horse Deaths in the Grand National
The Grand National has been running since 1839, and in that time there have been a number of horses that have died during the race. The first recorded death was in 1890, when a horse named The Lamb fell at the 23rd fence. Since then, there have been a number of other horses that have died in the race, including two in the 1920s and two in the 1930s. The most recent death was in 2020, when a horse called Up For Review fell at the 25th fence and died of his injuries.
Changes Made to Improve Horse Safety
In response to the deaths that have occurred in the Grand National, there have been a number of changes made to improve the safety of the horses involved. In the 1950s, the fences were lowered, which made them easier for the horses to jump. In the 2000s, the distance of the race was shortened and the number of fences was reduced from 30 to 16. The ground was also improved, so that the horses had a softer landing if they did fall.
The Impact of Safety Improvements
These changes have had a significant impact on the number of horses that have died in the Grand National. In the seven years leading up to the changes, there were seven deaths. However, in the seven years after the changes, there have only been two deaths, which is a significant improvement.
The Future of Horse Safety in the Grand National
The safety of horses in the Grand National is something that is taken very seriously, and there are a number of measures that are in place to ensure that the horses are as safe as possible. The fences are regularly inspected, and the ground is checked to make sure that it is suitable for the horses to run on. The race is also monitored by stewards, who can stop the race if there is any danger to the horses.
So, did any horses die in the Grand National? The answer is yes, there have been a number of horses that have died in the race over the years. However, due to the safety measures that have been implemented, the number of deaths has decreased significantly in recent years.