The Grand National is one of the world’s most famous horse races and is renowned for its challenging and often dangerous jumps. It is a gruelling race that has seen some of the most talented jockeys in the world attempt to tackle the demanding course. But with all this excitement and danger, it is no surprise that there have been tragedies in the Grand National’s long history, with some of the jockeys that have taken part in the race having died as a result of their bravery. So, how many jockeys have died in the Grand National over the years?
Number of Jockey Deaths in the Grand National
Since the first running of the Grand National in 1839, there have been 15 jockey deaths in the race. This is a surprisingly low number considering the dangerous nature of the race, and the fact that it has been run over 200 times. The last jockey to die in the Grand National was John Thorne in 1982, and since then, the race’s safety measures have been updated to ensure the safety of jockeys and horses alike.
Notable Jockey Deaths in the Grand National
Though there have been only 15 jockey deaths in the Grand National’s long history, some of them have been particularly notable. The first was George Stevens, who was killed in the first running of the race in 1839. Other notable deaths include John Hales in 1844, who died after his horse fell at the final fence, and John Piggott in 1862, who was killed when his horse fell at the Canal Turn.
Safety Measures Put in Place
Over the years, the Grand National has been the subject of much scrutiny, with many people arguing that it is too dangerous for horses and jockeys. As a result, the Grand National has been updated over the years to improve the safety of the race. In addition to the fences being reduced in size, the course has been widened, the number of runners limited, and the start moved further away from the first fence.
Deaths of Horses in the Grand National
Though the focus has been on the jockeys who have died in the Grand National, it is important to note that horses have also died in the race. Since the first running of the Grand National in 1839, there have been 32 reported horse deaths in the race, with the most recent occurring in 2017. This is a much higher number than the jockey deaths, and shows how dangerous the race can be for both horse and rider.
Jockeys Killed in Other Horse Races
The Grand National is not the only horse race that has seen jockey deaths in its long history. In fact, there have been many other horse races around the world that have seen jockey fatalities, including the Melbourne Cup in Australia and the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe in France. In total, there have been over 100 jockey deaths in horse racing worldwide since 2000.
Jockeys Killed Outside of Racing
In addition to jockey deaths in horse racing, there have also been a number of jockeys who have died in accidents outside of racing. Some of these accidents have been the result of falls from horses, while others have been due to car accidents or other types of accidents. In total, there have been over 200 jockey deaths since 2000 that have been unrelated to horse racing.
Jockey Safety Improvements
Over the years, there have been a number of safety improvements made to the sport of horse racing in order to reduce the risk of jockeys being killed in accidents. These improvements include the introduction of helmets and other safety equipment, improved medical care for jockeys, and better track maintenance. These measures have helped to reduce the number of jockey deaths in horse racing and make the sport safer for everyone involved.
The Grand National is an iconic and challenging horse race that has seen some of the most talented jockeys in the world attempt to tackle its demanding course. However, it is also a race that has seen tragedy, with 15 jockeys having died in the race since its first running in 1839. In addition to this, there have been a number of jockey deaths in other horse races and in accidents outside of racing. Thankfully, safety measures have been put in place to reduce the risk of such tragedies occurring in the future.
Keywords: Grand National, jockeys, deaths, horse race,safety measures, fatalities