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fernie fox
Apr. 5, 2011, 03:15 PM
Does anyone have any ideas at to where i can watch the race.

On TV or online.

Thanks.

Lcsd114
Apr. 5, 2011, 04:00 PM
Yes. On justin.tv the channel known as Boxing Guru
http://www.justin.tv/boxingukguru
will be streaming all three days of racing from Aintree (all the races shown on the BBC anyway.)

I don't know the exact "stream address" (not sure if that's the correct phrase) but, as soon as I do on Thursday morning, I'll post it here. He does a great stream, he covered Cheltenham a few weeks ago.:)

Equibrit
Apr. 5, 2011, 04:14 PM
http://www.freefootball.org/events/20110407_1345_Aintree_The_Grand_National.html

How to watch Aintree The Grand National


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fernie fox
Apr. 5, 2011, 07:33 PM
Thank you very much.

Madeline
Apr. 5, 2011, 09:14 PM
When I wrote them to thank them fot the Cheltenham coverage, HRTV said they were planning to cover all of Aintree....

Starts at 10 AM EDT Thursday.

Lcsd114
Apr. 7, 2011, 08:56 AM
For anyone who is interested....Live stream from Aintree:

http://www.justin.tv/boxingukguru#/w/1053894528

or

http://boxingguru.eu/gurutv2.html

for stream in 750x500 :)

Tory N
Apr. 7, 2011, 09:25 AM
what time does it go off?

Lcsd114
Apr. 7, 2011, 09:56 AM
The National? 4:15 (British time) on Saturday.

Tory N
Apr. 7, 2011, 10:03 AM
What is that EST?

Glimmerglass
Apr. 7, 2011, 10:11 AM
As noted by another poster HRTV will be airing the Grand National - Saturday April 9th: HRTV Calendar (http://hrtv.com/calendar.asp)


10:00 AM - COVERAGE OF THE GRAND NATIONAL STEEPLECHASE FROM AINTREE, UK. LIVE.

I assume the times are Eastern.

2011: field of 40 Runners and Jockeys for the John Smith's Grand National (http://www.aintree.co.uk/news/jsgn-runners/); plus reserves

http://www.aintree.co.uk/pages/grand-national/

Equibrit
Apr. 7, 2011, 11:02 AM
Good site; http://www.attheraces.com/index.aspx?ref=splash

Lcsd114
Apr. 7, 2011, 03:52 PM
Unfortunately, I don't have HRTV :no:, so I have to rely on the stream I found and posted earlier.

However, it is very good, so anyone who would like to see all the races and cannot get HRTV, feel free to stop by.

Madeline
Apr. 7, 2011, 05:50 PM
Just for the record, HRTV is showing all the races as well. And from 10 edt to noon, there's lots more steeplechase racing from England as filler...

Drvmb1ggl3
Apr. 9, 2011, 10:22 AM
Good quality live feed here.... http://www.kiiwii.co.uk

Drvmb1ggl3
Apr. 9, 2011, 10:28 AM
Good quality live feed here.... http://www.kiiwii.co.uk

Btw, that link is the BBC feed. HRTV is probably showing the RUK/ATR feed and commentary. BBC has some exceptional camera work.

mintano
Apr. 9, 2011, 11:37 AM
Looks like they had at least 1 equine fatality. Bypassed 2 fences, one of which had a large form covered in a tarp on the other side and another with panels up on the far side of the fence. :/

sisu27
Apr. 9, 2011, 12:01 PM
2 equine fatalities. One being Ornais.:cry::cry:

Lcsd114
Apr. 9, 2011, 12:08 PM
Yes. I had to switch to the kiwi feed, was grateful for that.

I am a big horse racing fan and the National is my biggest day of the year, so I am feeling very sad right now.:( I will defend steeplechasing and the National until the end of days but I still mourn the loss of horses. It is a difficult position to be in.

Dooneys Gate was the other fatality, at Bechers.

Lcsd114
Apr. 9, 2011, 12:27 PM
Both the fatalities were rank outsiders, which probably means they were not good enough to run in the first place.

I hate when connections put their pocketbook above the horse's safety and enter horses who can't even win a hunter chase (Ornais), yet expect them to be able to get around a 4 and a half mile tough chase.:no:

Larksmom
Apr. 9, 2011, 01:00 PM
I wasn't able to pull up the Aintree link, but then HRTV swerved back into it at the last minute.
I am not a passionate 'chase follower, but I do love to watch the good'uns jump so spectacularly as if it were nothing.
Do they have any upward number of what they will not allow to start? 60? 80? And are there no conditions? Such as the one fatality listed above. Can't they work on this before PETA beats them to it? Don't think me a crank, but I do think it is nearly criminal when it is known there will be fallers that anyone with an entry fee can seemingly get in.

Lcsd114
Apr. 9, 2011, 01:39 PM
40 is the most they will let start. As for the conditions, they do have to qualify but I don't know how stringent they are.

Equibrit
Apr. 9, 2011, 02:19 PM
Qualification Six-years-old and up
Rated 110+ by BHA (http://www.britishhorseracing.com/)

For six-year-olds old and upwards which are allotted a rating of 110 or more by the BHA Head of Handicapping following a review of the horses entered and after taking account of races run up to and including February 13, 2011. Horses which are not qualified for a rating in Great Britain or Ireland at February 1, 2011, may also be entered. Such horses may be eligible for a weight providing the Handicapper is satisfied that the horse's racecourse performances to February 13, 2011, would merit a minimum rating of 110. To qualify horses must have run at least three times in Steeple Chases run under the Rules of Racing of the same Recognised Turf Authority up to and including February 13, 2011. At the Handicapper's discretion such horses may be allocated a rating. The decision of the BHA Head of Handicapping shall be final. No penalties after publication of the weights. Highest weight 11st 10lb. Maximum field size of 40.

Bogie
Apr. 9, 2011, 02:25 PM
This race was very upsetting. there were some very disturbing photos in the Daily Mail.

Equibrit
Apr. 9, 2011, 02:53 PM
The Daily Mail never misses an opportunity to make something they see as "privileged", look as bad as possible.

Drvmb1ggl3
Apr. 9, 2011, 02:58 PM
Having a rating of 110 is the lowest acceptable to make an entry. However, there are well over 100 entries, perhaps several hundred. In reality the lowest rated horse running (i.e bottom weight) is rated much higher than 110. The lowest rated horses in today's race were Golden Kite and Skippers Brig, both running off an OR of 138, that's 28lbs higher than 110. Interestingly there was no horse running out of the handicap in this year's renewal, as the top ranked horse, and top weight, was running off a mark of 160.
The top ranked Chasers, (the Long Runs, Kauto Stars and Denman's of the world) are running off marks in the 170s and 180s, but those kind of horses don't run in races like the National.

Bogie
Apr. 9, 2011, 03:46 PM
I love watching the Grand National but do think that two fatalities is two too many.

ASB Stars
Apr. 9, 2011, 03:57 PM
I have to agree- especially given the fact that one broke his neck, and the other, his back-- not that there is any good way to lose a horse, but the risk to the horses' jocks, and others, seems too much.

That said- I still am a fan of the old stories- the Jay Trumps of the world.

kookicat
Apr. 9, 2011, 05:39 PM
I really hate the fact that two horses died. I watched the race through my fingers because I had a feeling something was going to happen.

Can you all spare some jingles for the injured jockeys? One is in hospital with a head injury. (Though his accident happened in the Novices Chase.)

jolise
Apr. 9, 2011, 08:04 PM
Not sure why the loss of 2 horses is much of a suprise, as 20 horses have died since 2000. So , average of about 2 per year. Maybe, fewer entries would help?

Lcsd114
Apr. 9, 2011, 10:26 PM
20 horses at Aintree in all races (21 races in the GN meeting per year, over 11 years, 231 races or so, assuming every race has been run every year.) That statistic isn't nearly as bad as some sources want people to think.

alspharmd
Apr. 9, 2011, 11:50 PM
Does anyone else find this race appalling? The race callers actually had to announce how many horses were still on their feet. They had to make detours around the hurdles so those still on their feet could run around the dead horses. The winning jockey was sanctioned for overuse of his whip, and then his horse could barely make it to the winner's circle. Maybe I'm missing something, but I don't see anything positive about this race in the least. If I am missing something, please let me know. I'm sincerely trying to avoid judging racing. In my mind, I've made my peace with most racing and hurdles, but this just seems unnecessary.

Equibrit
Apr. 10, 2011, 09:18 AM
It's about as appalling (or not) as most **** event courses. The main difference being that the obstacles are not solid and the horses race together.

Bogie
Apr. 10, 2011, 01:00 PM
It's about as appalling (or not) as most **** event courses. The main difference being that the obstacles are not solid and the horses race together.

Well, most event horses aren't ridden at those types of speeds and I think the demolition derby aspect of it (40 horses starting, numerous horses continuing on without their jockeys) makes it far more dangerous than a **** event. Some of those riderless horses make very unexpected moves in front of or over a fence and can cause some pretty major pile ups.

War Admiral
Apr. 10, 2011, 01:05 PM
Well, most event horses aren't ridden at those types of speeds and I think the demolition derby aspect of it (40 horses starting, numerous horses continuing on without their jockeys) makes it far more dangerous than a **** event. Some of those riderless horses make very unexpected moves in front of or over a fence and can cause some pretty major pile ups.

Agreed.

ASB Stars
Apr. 10, 2011, 02:04 PM
Well, this tells a different version of the story- only 19 of the 40 starters finished? Are you kidding me?

And the winners jock set down for five days for "excessive use of the whip"?

http://tuesdayshorse.wordpress.com/2011/04/10/tragedy-and-insensitivity-overshadow-grand-national-as-two-horses-die/

Equibrit
Apr. 10, 2011, 04:18 PM
Finishers are those that cross the line with a rider attached.Some cross without riders, and others have been pulled up or caught.



YEAR – GOING – FINISHERS/RUNNERS
1971 Good 13/38
1972 Soft 9/42
1973 Firm 10/38
1974 Good 17/42
1975 Good 10/31
1976 Firm 16/32
1977 Good 11/42
1978 Firm 15/37
1979 Good 7/34
1980 Heavy 4/30
1981 Good 12/39
1982 Good 8/39
1983 Soft 10/41
1984 Good 23/40
1985 Good to Soft 11/40
1986 Good to Soft 17/40
1987 Good 22/40
1988 Good to Soft 9/40
1989 Heavy 14/40
1990 Firm 20/38
1991 Good to Soft 17/40
1992 Good to Soft 22/40
1993 Void race
1994 Heavy 6/36
1995 Good 15/35
1996 Good 17/27
1997 Good 17/36
1998 Heavy 6/37
1999 Good 18/32
2000 Good/Good to Firm 17/40
2001 Heavy 4/40
2002 Good 11/40
2003 Good 14/40
2004 Good 11/39
2005 Good to Soft 21/40
2006 Good to Soft 9/40
2007 Good 12/40
2008 Good 15/40

ctab
Apr. 10, 2011, 05:18 PM
It's about as appalling (or not) as most **** event courses. The main difference being that the obstacles are not solid and the horses race together.

There are stricter qualifications for a **** than this race. A rider can be stopped from continuing for dangerous riding (too fast, pushing a tired horse). The fences are also somewhat lower. At least at the GN the horses can go through the fences at they are made of brush.

There should be a much lower limit on the amount of horses entered. I feel the same way about the Kentucky Derby. Should be much less entries.
Also, based on other threads on this subject, the qualification system for this race is not very high.

alspharmd
Apr. 10, 2011, 05:26 PM
I actually thought about upper level eventing when I was pondering the appalling points of this race. Yes, there are similarities. Horses negotiate obstacles over an extended distance at decent speeds. Horses die in unfortunate accidents.

Those are the commonalities that come to mind. I will readily admit that I have not seen many 4* events, but I'm pretty darn sure that more than 50% of the horses actually finish the course. At the end of xc, I imagine the horses are tired, but so exhausted that they are rushed back to the barn for treatment? Maybe it happens, I just don't know. I've never, ever seen an event rider beat their horse to the finish line like the winning jock did. I'm not one to say whips are evil and should be universally banned, but that display coming to the finish line was more than excessive, imo. As someone mentioned above, there also aren't 40 horses on course doing xc at the same time. There aren't dead horses strewn around the course nor are 5-10 riderless horses running around with reins flopping precariously on their necks.

Horses can get hurt or killed in any sport. Heck, you hear about freak accidents with horses all the time when no sport is involved. My horse can maim himself on his shadow.

This event just seems way over the top. It's just my gut reaction.

Glimmerglass
Apr. 10, 2011, 05:54 PM
Almost as offending as the injuries are the attendees - damn you just cannot excuse the trashy tart look (http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-1374830/Grand-National-2011-Coleen-Rooney-looks-pretty-pink-Aintree-Ladies-Day.html). You won't find any of that much train-wreck material at Keeneland, ever.

JER
Apr. 10, 2011, 06:18 PM
Those are the commonalities that come to mind. I will readily admit that I have not seen many 4* events, but I'm pretty darn sure that more than 50% of the horses actually finish the course.

Usually but not always. At Badminton in 1999 (rain, rain, rain) 29 of 71 finished XC.


At the end of xc, I imagine the horses are tired, but so exhausted that they are rushed back to the barn for treatment? Maybe it happens, I just don't know.

It does happen. It's not the norm, but it's not the norm at the GN either. Yesterday was warmer than usual and the race is over four miles long.

These horses are prepped for the race. This is nearing the end of the NH season and the GN will be the focus of a horse's training. These horses don't race very often but do regular work on hills and turf gallops.


I've never, ever seen an event rider beat their horse to the finish line like the winning jock did.

Well, there was that notorious incident at Rolex a few years back. That horse didn't survive.


There aren't dead horses strewn around the course nor are 5-10 riderless horses running around with reins flopping precariously on their necks.

In previous years, without the new by-pass lanes, the race would have been halted before fence #20. Yesterday was the first time the by-pass rules were in effect but I don't think anyone expected to see them in use.

Pulling up the field has its own hazards and is very difficult to do.

Steeplechasers wear Irish martingales (http://www.nunnfiner.com/Nunn-Finer-Irish-Martingale-p/65.htm) to prevent their reins from going over their heads. The reins do flop, but they're not completely free.

equinedriver
Apr. 10, 2011, 06:50 PM
DOn't want to appear stupid, but went to the link for the Irish Martingale and have no idea how it works...............

RougeEmpire
Apr. 10, 2011, 07:08 PM
Those women should not be allowed to dress themselves....

War Admiral
Apr. 10, 2011, 07:19 PM
DOn't want to appear stupid, but went to the link for the Irish Martingale and have no idea how it works...............

One rein thru each side.

Beverley
Apr. 10, 2011, 08:07 PM
It's always sad when horses die in any sport. But they do die- heck, often off just doing something in their stall or paddock, though of course that isn't televised.

It goes beyond sadness to anger if a horse's connections sends it out for competition thinking oh, gee, well he might get hurt or die, but let's do it anyway.

I don't think any of the connections of those two horses were of that school of thought- certainly I'm willing to give them the benefit of the doubt in the absence of evidence to the contrary. I would wager that the dead horses' connections were far more devastated than we were at watching it.

Foxtrot's
Apr. 10, 2011, 09:48 PM
The GN is on YouTube: go to John Smith's Grand National Chase 2011

Larksmom
Apr. 10, 2011, 10:11 PM
But WHAT is a WAG?

Bogie
Apr. 10, 2011, 10:25 PM
Wives and Girlfriends.

alspharmd
Apr. 10, 2011, 11:27 PM
Well, there was that notorious incident at Rolex a few years back. That horse didn't survive.

Ok, I probably don't even want to know the answer, but what happened at Rolex?

Thanks for the additional info. I never knew that particular martingale existed. I downloaded some of the photos from the race and tried to zoom in to see the martingale. I think I saw it -- it's like a bridge between the reins under the horse's neck?

War Admiral
Apr. 10, 2011, 11:39 PM
@ alspharmd - Yes - you'd see Irish m'gales quite a lot in the hunting field too, and ISTR seeing them in polo... any type of situation where there's a lot of potential for the reins to get accidentally flipped to one side of the horse's neck.

Equilibrium
Apr. 11, 2011, 05:06 AM
Just thought I'd add my 2 cents only because I read an article in my Daily Mail today that has left me scratching my head and a bit annoyed. Ginger McCain, trainer if Red Rum, says that safety measures have made the race more dangerous because it's too fast now. So does that mean the horses know about the safety measures and have decided to go faster? Or jockey's have decided it's safer so we shall go faster.

How about the fact that just possibly this trend in breeding over the last few years is to blame. That trend is to add as much speed as possible into the pedigree. When I used to frequent NH sales people would always say things such as, not touching that as there's no speed there. I said 5 years ago where are the future National horses going to come from?

The NH horses of old, stamina laden pedigrees, are near enough gone. Still a few mares left but not many. Now it's more of getting the speediest stallions to make NH horses. Heck NH breeders think winning at 1 1/2 miles isn't fast enough.

This is why the National seems to be more dangerous. Of course it's more speedy. They were bred for it. I didn't see a single horse ridden back the other day into the unsaddling enclosure. They were all buckling. Ok everyone blames the 60 odd degree day. A little to do with it but new training methods and breeding played a part too.

Yes call me an idiot. And really what right do I have to comment? Who am I? I'm just a yank who hadn't a clue about proper NH racing. But not hard to look at breeding trends and figure out where this is heading. And really for Ginger to talk about safety measures without seeing the whole picture is startling to me. The breeding will continue as is so dumbing down of the Grand National will have to continue as well.

Terri

alspharmd
Apr. 11, 2011, 07:36 AM
Yes call me an idiot. And really what right do I have to comment? Who am I? I'm just a yank who hadn't a clue about proper NH racing. But not hard to look at breeding trends and figure out where this is heading. And really for Ginger to talk about safety measures without seeing the whole picture is startling to me. The breeding will continue as is so dumbing down of the Grand National will have to continue as well.

Terri

I don't think you're an idiot. I think it's a very interesting point. I'm aware of the trend in the US to breed precociously fast 2 year olds, but I never wondered if that was the trend worldwide. Based on your post, I'm assuming the horses in the Grand National aren't just retired flat racers like many of our steeplechasers are here in the US? Horses are bred specifically for this purpose?

Madeline
Apr. 11, 2011, 08:14 AM
I don't think you're an idiot. I think it's a very interesting point. I'm aware of the trend in the US to breed precociously fast 2 year olds, but I never wondered if that was the trend worldwide. Based on your post, I'm assuming the horses in the Grand National aren't just retired flat racers like many of our steeplechasers are here in the US? Horses are bred specifically for this purpose?


Lots of NH horses are purpose bred, but not all. I think that the heat was responsible for jockeys getting off immediately, but I'm inclined to think that the going has more to do with the injuries. When the going is good, horses stay on top of the ground, go faster, and the striding changes...As in many other sports and activities, speed kills.

MAybe the key is more course watering prior to race day.

Ravencrest_Camp
Apr. 11, 2011, 10:09 AM
Just thought I'd add my 2 cents only because I read an article in my Daily Mail today that has left me scratching my head and a bit annoyed. Ginger McCain, trainer if Red Rum, says that safety measures have made the race more dangerous because it's too fast now. So does that mean the horses know about the safety measures and have decided to go faster? Or jockey's have decided it's safer so we shall go faster.

How about the fact that just possibly this trend in breeding over the last few years is to blame. That trend is to add as much speed as possible into the pedigree. When I used to frequent NH sales people would always say things such as, not touching that as there's no speed there. I said 5 years ago where are the future National horses going to come from?

The NH horses of old, stamina laden pedigrees, are near enough gone. Still a few mares left but not many. Now it's more of getting the speediest stallions to make NH horses. Heck NH breeders think winning at 1 1/2 miles isn't fast enough.

This is why the National seems to be more dangerous. Of course it's more speedy. They were bred for it. I didn't see a single horse ridden back the other day into the unsaddling enclosure. They were all buckling. Ok everyone blames the 60 odd degree day. A little to do with it but new training methods and breeding played a part too.

Yes call me an idiot. And really what right do I have to comment? Who am I? I'm just a yank who hadn't a clue about proper NH racing. But not hard to look at breeding trends and figure out where this is heading. And really for Ginger to talk about safety measures without seeing the whole picture is startling to me. The breeding will continue as is so dumbing down of the Grand National will have to continue as well.

Terri

Your point makes intuative sense, but I don't think the statistics back it up.

I don't think there has been a marked increase in falls or fatalities in the recent past. If you look back at the list someone posted, this has always been a problem. Lots of starters, few finishers.

Equilibrium
Apr. 11, 2011, 10:50 AM
Agree at the moment what I am describing is not extreme yet but keep watching the pedigrees. Using sprint mares on miler stallions can't have a positive impact on the purpose bred NH horse. Course was in top condition. They no longer allow any course to be firm as in the old days. Firm meant what I have in my fields at the moment rock hard. I am not a big fan of chasing in the summer months but really these courses do have quite a bit of give in them. Pherhaps it's a bit like everything else, the more advances in feeding, vet science, supps, unbelievable gallops and training facilities may mean that a less hardy horse is able to keep going longer. Clarification meaning I don't think horses are any more or less sound than years ago. I just think today's horse has more advantages.

I had a day off today and am just thinking way too much!

Terri

Vennger
Apr. 11, 2011, 11:24 AM
I am a lifelong fan of the Grand National at Aintree, having watched on bended knees in front of the TV as Bob Champion rode Aldiniti to such fantastic success in 1981. And even though one of my favourite National Hunt horses, The Last Fling, died in the race in 2002. I still enjoy the spectacle and regard it as a must-see in my personal sporting calendar.

That said, I did find myself silenced as the runners and riders bypassed the two fences and the site of the big green tarpaulin with an obvious casualty underneath is an image which will sadly stay with me for some time.

I was genuinely concerned for the horses as they crossed the line and found celebration a bit difficult even though "my" horse was the winner.

I feel perhaps that my old adage of "the horses wouldn't run if they didn't enjoy it" is a slight excuse for what is, at times, an arguably difficult to defend sport.

Drvmb1ggl3
Apr. 11, 2011, 11:37 AM
Agree at the moment what I am describing is not extreme yet but keep watching the pedigrees. Using sprint mares on miler stallions can't have a positive impact on the purpose bred NH horse. Course was in top condition. They no longer allow any course to be firm as in the old days. Firm meant what I have in my fields at the moment rock hard. I am not a big fan of chasing in the summer months but really these courses do have quite a bit of give in them. Pherhaps it's a bit like everything else, the more advances in feeding, vet science, supps, unbelievable gallops and training facilities may mean that a less hardy horse is able to keep going longer. Clarification meaning I don't think horses are any more or less sound than years ago. I just think today's horse has more advantages.

I had a day off today and am just thinking way too much!

Terri


Terri, you seem to be posting on the premise that somehow there are more fallers and casualties and less finishers now than in the past. Having watched the race for nigh on forty years, and seen footage of many of the ones before that, your premise is ungrounded. Someone posted a list of finishers by year. This year was actually above average. I imagine the number of fallers is not out of line either. Unfortunately there were two fatalities, the first jumping fatalities since 2003. But there have been fatalities in the past obviously. They come and go in spurts. Sometimes you go a number of years without them, then there might be one, or two. I think we just got particularly unlucky on Sat. Btw, no one, and I mean no one, likes to see that shit, so all the self righteous experts that showed up out of nowhere to comment on this thread (not referring to you Terri!) with their "how can they let this happen" bullshit, can go have an good enema and release some of the pressure on their brains.

The nature of the race will always mean there will a number of horses that won finish. Even if you took out all the jumps and ran it as a 4m4f bumper, a good number of horses would get tailed off and be pulled up. Just because horses don finish is not a bad thing. If you spend you're life watching 6f one turn sprints with occasional "route" race going 1m1/16, then you probably think if a horse doesn't finish that it is dead or injured. Not so in long distance races. If a horse is out of contention, the jockey often doesn't persevere, they pull up. That's just common sense.
Likewise, just because a horse falls does not mean they are injured. If you watched more than 10 minutes of jump racing, you would see that horses fall, then get up, gallop on and they vast majority are back racing a couple of weeks later.

In the National the fences are stiff. But it's the National, it wouldn't be the National without the National fences. They have been modified to make them safer. As to whether they are indeed now safer... that's open for the debate. The number of casualties per runners has actually risen since the jumps were modified in 1990. As to whether the rise is statistically significant and ergo Ginger McCain has a point, we have to look more closely at the numbers.

One thing that does set the National apart from other chases is that there are more fallers in the early part of the race. In the majority of races horses tend to fall later on, as they tire and make mistakes. In the National however, the first six fences (the first straight run up to and including Bechers) account for over 50% or all fallers. That is unusual compared to chases in general. However, given the number of runners and the speed they set off at, they take off at unusually fast clip for a race that long, it's more understandable.

Btw, the temp in Liverpool on Sat was not 60f, it was 80f. That is unusually hot for the time of year in the NW of England, esp for horses coming out of winter. That the horses were unmounted after the race and watered down as a precaution was good thing and they should be commended for that.
Another that hasn't been mentioned, is that they actually didn't jump all the fences this year, and they only jumped Bechers one time. This is the first time that has ever happened. That's quite significant. In years past they would have been flagged to one side of the fence, not around it. There are many that will put a huge asterisk next to this year's winner because of that... can he truly be considered a National winner having only jumped Becher's once?

As to breeding, well the most famous National horse of all times was of course, RED RUM.
I'm sure you're aware he was by Quorom, a champion Miler, out of a mare who's only wins were over 6f and who's sire, Magic Red, main claim to fame was a win in the Berkshire H'cap over a mile and good run in the King's Stand at Ascot over 5f. Yet they son of a gun could run all day long and was an incredibly efficient jumper to boot.

Drvmb1ggl3
Apr. 11, 2011, 11:44 AM
That said, I did find myself silenced as the runners and riders bypassed the two fences and the site of the big green tarpaulin with an obvious casualty underneath is an image which will sadly stay with me for some time.



I think the fact that they by passed the fences this year for the first time ever seems to have drawn particular attention to the deaths. In years past you probably wouldn't have known until well after the race. But when they came to the 4th on the 2nd circuit and the commentator said "they'll be bypassing the next" .... I let out a huge "oh shit, no", and of course invariably your eyes are then looking for the downed horse on the other side. I'm not criticizing it btw, just that it made the race a much more sobering race to watch. I guess out of sight is out of mind, sadly.

Equilibrium
Apr. 11, 2011, 12:10 PM
Not really. I actually enjoy the National. But how is what you deem my stupidity any less stupid than a guy who won it 3 times saying the race is more dangerous because it's safer. Like I said before the horses don't know what the fences used to be do they? So then I guess it's the jockey's that are making things more dangerous. But I do know that more and more emphasis has been put on speed in all areas of the NH game, of which National races are a very small part, in the last 10 years. Had an acquaintance with a big ole Supreme Leader mare. Very nice old fashioned type who was a pretty decent pointing mare with stamina to burn. Starting breeding her to small 6 furlong types because only way he'd get anything sold.

Call me silly and stupid, don't care. I am actually more fond of NH racing than flat racing. I don't think you find horses anywhere of any breed that have as much heart as this lot. Haven't welled up in any racing in a long time but watching Denman go for that Gold Cup this year did it. And during the National this year I was screaming at the top of my lungs for Sam Whaley- Cohen's horse. My thoughts today were on a comment made about the speed of the race and how that makes it unsafe. NH horses are conditioned and bred differently than in years passed. I think those things play a part as well because in all of it speed plays a part. I do not think anyone in the game sends a horse out to knowingly get hurt. These NH horses are usually around the barn years. They spend their off time at home with their owners. Some are members of the family. It's actually part of the reason I love NH racing.

I know you dislike me really but the facts are that NH racing is changing. Just because I said it doesn't make it all wrong.

Terri

Drvmb1ggl3
Apr. 11, 2011, 12:44 PM
Call me silly and stupid, don't care.it.

I know you dislike me really .....

Sweet mudder a gawd, where in the name of Jesus did that come from????

I pointed that you are starting out from a faulty premise. If less horses were able to get around Aintree these days, you would have a point. However that is not true. The number of finishers is no less than it was in decades past.
Is NH breeding changing? Arguably yes. But most NH aren't bred to win a National, they probably never were in the past either. I think most people would like to go to a NH sale with a 4yo who has enough speed to win a top class 2m hurdle, than a 4m slog. That's where the money is. Look at most of top hurdles, lot of them are good enough to be group placed on the flat at 12f. But hasn't that always been the case? This year's CH winner is a Montjeu. The most famous hurdler of the golden age of hurdling in the 70's, Sea Pigeon, was by Sea Bird. The most famous NH sire of the last 20 years, possibly all times, Roselier, was a brother to an Oaks and G1 winner over a mile.

Anyplace Farm
Apr. 11, 2011, 12:54 PM
This race was very upsetting. there were some very disturbing photos in the Daily Mail.
Agreed. The pictures of that poor bay going ass over tea kettle, then struggling to get out of the way, only to get jumped on, breaking his back then killing him, were horrifying.

Any fatal accident in any sport is horrifying but I do feel bad for animals because it's not like they put themselves in these positions.

It's too large a field at too high of a rate of speed with jumps that expect too high of a jumping effort which is why the race is notorious for its deaths. And trust me, there are plenty who show up for the blood and gore. :no:

kookicat
Apr. 11, 2011, 08:16 PM
Agreed. The pictures of that poor bay going ass over tea kettle, then struggling to get out of the way, only to get jumped on, breaking his back then killing him, were horrifying.

Any fatal accident in any sport is horrifying but I do feel bad for animals because it's not like they put themselves in these positions.

It's too large a field at too high of a rate of speed with jumps that expect too high of a jumping effort which is why the race is notorious for its deaths. And trust me, there are plenty who show up for the blood and gore. :no:

I agree with this.

I think the ground played a huge part in this year's falls. They've improved the drainage so much that no matter how much water they dump on it, it stays good/fast. That means that the horses are going that much faster, which causes problems.

Not sure if this has been mentioned, but the winning jockey was given a five day ban for overuse of the whip. (Something like 15-17 times on the run-in.)

It was a farce all around this year.

Drvmb1ggl3
Apr. 12, 2011, 12:12 AM
Not sure if this has been mentioned, but the winning jockey was given a five day ban for overuse of the whip. (Something like 15-17 times on the run-in.)

It was a farce all around this year.


He hit the horse 16 times from the last fence to the line, a distance of over 2 furlongs (494 yards to be exact, about 2.25f). Basically he hit the horse every 3 or 4 strides. That is considered excessive use by British, Irish and French standards and why he rightly received a ban.

However that would be considered mild by North American standards. For a bit of perspective, here is everyone's favourite Cajun, Calvin Borel, riding Rachel in Woodward (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ysO_Fhc8Fpw).
Count how many times he hits her in the last furlong.... hmmm, looks like somewhere over 20, inside ONE furlong. Almost every stride she gets hit.
He received no ban, no warning, not even a wag of the finger for that flaking he gave her.
Here's another video of everyone's aw shucks favourite jockey, this time riding Super Saver in the Kentucky Derby (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jxO0EKlYv0k).... smack that pony.

And before anyone mentions that Borel uses a padded whip, that's what Maguire was using too. Those have been mandatory equipment for NH jockeys in GB for a good number of years.

ZhiZhu
Apr. 12, 2011, 11:53 AM
I have to admit that I was shocked when I read about how many horses die in an average year at the Grand National. I did some research and wrote an article about what I found and how I feel about it on my blog (http://donkeysense.blogspot.com/2011/04/three-horses-die-during-englands-grand.html). It's far too long to post here, but you can read it by following the link:

http://donkeysense.blogspot.com/2011/04/three-horses-die-during-englands-grand.html

vineyridge
Apr. 12, 2011, 12:14 PM
If there hasn't been an on course death at Aintree before this year for nine years, that's a heck of a lot better record that you'd get at some of older 4* competitions in eventing. In fact, I'd say it's a danged GOOD record, given what the race is.

So how does it compare to the Maryland Hunt Cup which can barely scrape up enough horses to run--average is under 10, I think--; or the Czech Velka Pardubicka? The largest field in the history of the Velka was 29, but it usually starts close to twenty. I use these comparables because of the distance and type of jumps, even though the MHC is timber.

Drvmb1ggl3
Apr. 12, 2011, 12:26 PM
I have to admit that I was shocked when I read about how many horses die in an average year at the Grand National. I did some research and wrote an article about what I found and how I feel about it on my blog (http://donkeysense.blogspot.com/2011/04/three-horses-die-during-englands-grand.html). It's far too long to post here, but you can read it by following the link:

http://donkeysense.blogspot.com/2011/04/three-horses-die-during-englands-grand.html

You need t stop telling lies in your blog or learn to do some better research.
33 horses have died at Aintree racecourse in the last 11 years, not in the Grand National. Saturday's fatalities were the first jumping fatalities in the National since 2003. A horse died a couple of years ago when he ran into a rail un mounted.

For your next research project, and by Jove you need the practice, look up how many horses have died at Santa Anita just this year alone.

ZhiZhu
Apr. 12, 2011, 01:59 PM
If you read my blog post more carefully, you will see that I am including all horses that died during all three days of the Grand National or because of injuries sustained during the three day event. However, even if you are only counting the final race, several horses have died since 2003. In 2006 Tyneandthyneagain died after falling at the first fence in the main race. In 2007, Graphic Approach died because of injuries sustained at the Becher's Brook fence during the final race. And in 2009, Hear The Echo collapsed and died following the main race.

Please refer to:
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1375210/Grand-National-2011-Ballabriggs-wins-day-drama-Aintree.html
You will need to scroll down a ways.

See also:
http://www.mauritiushot.com/video-two-horses-die-at-grand-national-2011/
and
http://www.horsechannel.com/horse-news/2011/04/12/grand-national-steeplechase-fatalities.aspx

Drvmb1ggl3
Apr. 12, 2011, 02:23 PM
Your blog says "Over the past 11 years, 33 horses have died competing in England's Grand National which is held at Aintree Race Course".
The Grand National is one race of many at Aintree.

Btw, Graphic Assault died of pneumonia.

JER
Apr. 12, 2011, 03:46 PM
ZhiZhu, you really don't know the sport of National Hunt racing. You've gone to the great echo chamber of the internet and found the exactly what you wanted to hear -- and then you condensed it all into an emotional but uninformed blog post.

I loved this in particular:


The race is simply too grueling. Even horses that don't die from falls, sometimes collapse from being pushed too hard. Most famously, in 1956, Devon Loch, who cleared the last fence five lengths ahead of the nearest competitor, simply collapsed and was unable to complete the race.

No one -- except, apparently, you -- knows why Devon Loch fell. He recovered quickly, so it wasn't a case of exhaustion. If you read Dick Francis's wonderful autobiography (which would go a long way toward increasing your understanding of this sport), the episode remained an unsolvable puzzle. BTW, Francis did not push Devon Loch 'too hard', he was running easily with his ears pricked.

Perhaps, if your effort to understand National Hunt racing is sincere, you should go to this thread -- Jingles for Monet's Garden (http://www.chronofhorse.com/forum/showthread.php?t=287195) -- to get an idea of how much these horses can mean to their connections.

:)

kookicat
Apr. 12, 2011, 04:14 PM
He hit the horse 16 times from the last fence to the line, a distance of over 2 furlongs (494 yards to be exact, about 2.25f). Basically he hit the horse every 3 or 4 strides. That is considered excessive use by British, Irish and French standards and why he rightly received a ban.

Thanks- I couldn't remember the exact distance. (I really shouldn't post when I'm falling asleep!)


However that would be considered mild by North American standards. For a bit of perspective, here is everyone's favourite Cajun, Calvin Borel, riding Rachel in Woodward (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ysO_Fhc8Fpw).
Count how many times he hits her in the last furlong.... hmmm, looks like somewhere over 20, inside ONE furlong. Almost every stride she gets hit.
He received no ban, no warning, not even a wag of the finger for that flaking he gave her.
Here's another video of everyone's aw shucks favourite jockey, this time riding Super Saver in the Kentucky Derby (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jxO0EKlYv0k).... smack that pony.

And before anyone mentions that Borel uses a padded whip, that's what Maguire was using too. Those have been mandatory equipment for NH jockeys in GB for a good number of years.

I can only see the first video, but I don't think that you (generic! ;)) can really compare the two races. The GN is a much longer race, with jumping efforts. The horse was plainly exhausted by the race and the unusual weather.

The Woodward is a flat race, run over a shorter distance. Apart from both horses getting hit a lot (too much, IMO), there's not really many similarities.

Padded whip or no, 15+ hits is too many. More than three is deemed excessive by other sports- why should racing be any different?

Madeline
Apr. 12, 2011, 04:36 PM
If you read my blog post more carefully, you will see that I am including all horses that died during all three days of the Grand National or because of injuries sustained during the three day event.

Just for the record, let's put a number to that. Give or take a few because of race day scratches, this year's Aintree GN Meet had 334 starters over the course of the meet. Three fatalities is still too many, but 3 of 334 is far from 3 of 40. Or even 3 of the 200 which would be a reasonable expectation for the US race watcher for 21 races, (19 over fences or hurdles).

Equilibrium
Apr. 13, 2011, 03:20 AM
Re the padded whip. Seriously I tried it out on myself just to see what all the hype was about. Walloped myself across my bare leg and it actually didn't hurt. A tap from a dressage whip is more owie. It's stingy and irritating. Not saying horses should be beaten just trying to say the modern padded whips are at least not bad and really should be mandatory everywhere.

And someone mentioned the MG thread and about how much these people care about their horses. A lot of them are members of a family. And racing yards are very fond of these horses that stay around year after year. I sold a 2 yo to a guy who is aiming for NH races later on. As of now he is ridden out by the 13 yo daughter. Gets way too many treats, apparently has a shine on him like no other because his kids can't stop brushing him. He told me that at some point he's going to have to explain that Sinbad is a racehorse and not a pony. But after racing he is assured a family home with them and fights over who gets to do what with him.

That's a lot of your NH racing and why I favor it over flat nowadays.

Terri

Bogie
Apr. 13, 2011, 07:36 AM
And someone mentioned the MG thread and about how much these people care about their horses. A lot of them are members of a family. And racing yards are very fond of these horses that stay around year after year. I sold a 2 yo to a guy who is aiming for NH races later on. As of now he is ridden out by the 13 yo daughter. Gets way too many treats, apparently has a shine on him like no other because his kids can't stop brushing him. He told me that at some point he's going to have to explain that Sinbad is a racehorse and not a pony. But after racing he is assured a family home with them and fights over who gets to do what with him.



That's so nice to hear. I wish I saw more of that around Suffolk Downs!

Foxtrot's
Apr. 19, 2011, 12:52 AM
When a horse has an injury they will give it a year off or whatever it takes to rehab it. These horses are racing into their teens.

If you have never seen the English/Irish/French steeplechaser you would not think they were TB. Big, magnificent creatures with lots of bone and those big feet.

JER
Apr. 19, 2011, 12:14 PM
A nice update from the Racing Post: Monet's Garden making slow but steady progress (http://www.racingpost.com/news/horse-racing/monets-garden-david-wesley-yates-monet-s-garden-making-slow-but-steady-progress/845346/latest/)

According to his owner:


“It’s going to take a long time but we hope to be able to give him a summer at grass and the aim is for him to be ridden again in future.

“That would open up a lot of opportunities for him in retirement, such as showing or hunting. We’d like him to have an active retirement, as he deserves to enjoy his retirement.”

:)