A history of the Grand National

The Grand National, one of the best known horse racing events in the world, has been around since 1839. With with 178 years of experience, the event has a storied history that intrigues and mystifies. First is the mystery of why the race was not recognized until 1839, when there are records of races at the same track and with the same owners from 1836 -1838. While we now know that these exist, they were lost for some time, and thus the official opening date remains as 1839.

The lost years were during a time when other races were taking national spots, but after a happy turn of events involving railroad access and the retiring of other races, the Grand National became one of the most important races in the UK.

The only time that the race hasn’t been run in the last 178 years, was during the war years of 1941 -1945, with the course re-opening in 1946 and having been in operation since. Since this time the race has endured protestors, threats of IRA bombs, changing hands, loss of sponsors, and many other hardships. Still, the race ensures and is closing in on 200 years of sporting history.