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The Grand National 2018

The famous horse racing event is set to take place at Aintree this year from 12-14 April. As one of the most important events on the horse racing calendar, 150,000 spectators are expected to watch the 40 runners, in 21 races, negotiate the 30 fences, over a four-and-a-half-mile distance.

Hosting the Grand National since 1839, Aintree in Liverpool is synonymous with horse racing. Back then, it was known as the Grand Liverpool Steeplechase, with Lottery being the first ever winner of the Big Race. Horses were required to jump over a stone wall, run across ploughed land and jump over two hurdles to the finish.

Interest quickly began to grow in the racing event, particularly after Liverpool acquired a railway station. By 1843, the Grand National was turned into a handicap by Edward William Topham.

Over the years, the Grand National has produced some noteworthy winners, with Red Rum being the most famous of all. This legendary horse, trained by Ginger McCain, has been the only horse to ever win three times at the event - in 1973, 1974 and 1977. What makes Red Rum's victories even more remarkable is that he had a bone disease, which should have made him unfit for racing. After Red Rum died in 1995, he was buried at the Aintree course by the winning post.

Another horse to break records, although prior to Red Rum's win, Golden Miller was the only horse to win both the Grand National and the Cheltenham Gold Cup in the same season - in 1934.

Aldaniti was also a standout winner, since both the horse and his trainer, Bob Champion, were suffering from major health problems at the time of their victory in 1981.

Other notable episodes include the Queen Mother's horse, Devon Loch, who in 1956 was a favourite to win, but suddenly sprawled down flat on the ground just inches away from the winning post. In 1967, chaos ensued at Aintree when there was a horrendous pile-up of horses at the 23rd fence. Foinavon managed to escape the carnage and stagger on to a 100-1 win. This fence has since been named after Foinavon.

Other famous fences at Aintree include Becher's Brook (the most difficult), the chair (the tallest), and Valentine's Brook (named after a horse that supposedly jumped the fence backwards).

Last year's main event went to One for Arthur, making it the second win ever for Scotland. Favourites for this year include Blaklion, Total Recall, Native River, Minella Rocco and Definitely Red.

Safety for the horses and the riders is of vital concern at the Grand National, where great efforts have been made to make the jumps safer, with qualified teams of trainers and vets ensuring the animals remain in good health. British horse racing has the world's best-regulated animal activities, with millions of pounds being ploughed into veterinary research and education.

To ensure the safety and wellbeing of any horses you care for, Coruba provides a wide range of high-quality horsebox partitioning, horse stable matting and animal matting products.

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