Aintree Grand National Fences
The Aintree Grand National Course is run over the most unique race circuit in the country. The wide course is tailor made for the large fields of 40 plus runners which is more like a cavalry charge out of a western movie than a traditional horse race, no wonder it is so popular with the public. The Aintree course is nearly two and a quarter miles in circumference, there are 16 fences and a run in of 494 yards.
- Fence 1The first fence comes very quickly after the start and with 40 plus runners going full pelt at speeds of 30 plus miles per hour there are bound to be a couple of causalities at this first fence which is 4 foot 6 inch in height.
- Fence 2The second fence come up quickly and is slightly bigger than the first fence standing at 4 foot 7 inch.
- Fence 3Next is the first open ditch. The ditches are the first real test for the horses as there is a 6 foot gap between the front of the ditch and the fence itself so the horse has to stand off and really stretch out to make it safely to the other side. This fence is the larger than the first two standing at 5 feet.
- Fence 4is back to a standard fence at 4 foot 10 inches.
- Fence 5A 5 foot fence. The last regular fence before Bechers.
- Fence 6Bechers Brook . The most famous fence on the Aintree Racecourse. (Named after Captain Becher Who fell at this fence ) What is unique about this fence is the brook on the landing side. This fence is a 4 foot 10 inch fence with a 5 foot 6 inch Brook. The experienced jockeys will take there horses wide as the drop is less the wider you jump the fence.
- Fence 7The Foinavon fence. One of the easier fences on the course at 4 foot 6 inches, but the fence that caused such carnage in the 1967 National. The fence was named after Foinavon a complete outsider who was the only horse to jump the fence first time and went on to win.
- Fence 8The Canal Turn. This is a 5 foot fence. What is important about this fence is that the jockeys need to jump the fence at an angle in order not to lose a lot of ground as there is a 90 degrees angle to the left immediately after jumping this fence.
- Fence 9St. Valentines Brook A 5 foot fence with a 5 foot 6 inch Brook. Fence10 A five foot fence.
- Fence 11The Booth. An open ditch with a 5 foot fence and a 6 foot ditch.
- Fence 12Westhead. A five foot fence followed by a 5 foot 6 inch fence.
- Fence 13This is a 4 foot 7 inch fence.
- Fence 14A 4 foot 6 inch fence, not a difficult fence but horses are beginning to tire and can make simple errors.
- Fence 15The Chair. This is the biggest fence in the National. It is a 6 foot fence with a 5 foot 2 inch ditch.
- Fence 16This is the water jump and is a long jump rather than a high jump.
The horses have to jump nearly all the fences twice with 30 fences in all that make up this fantastic horse race. At the end of jumping the 30 fences and running nearly four and a half miles there is the longest run in of any horse race in the UK of 494 yards with an elbow roughly half way up the run in many races have been won and lost on this final scramble to the finishing post. It is just hoped that every year that all the horses return safely to have another go the following year.