Royal Athlete 1995
1995 Winner Royal Athlete beat the 1992 winner Party Politics by seven lengths in this wonderful National. Royal Athlete had sustained so many injuries over his time it was hard to predict if or when he would run.
He was due to defend his title but unfortunately the weather played a large part due to frost and snow and therefore Royal Athlete was retired to a Gloucestershire farm where he later died at the age of 20.
Memory of R. Lee – May 21st 2009 – UK
After 6 years being engaged, I proposed to my girlfriend on this day so there was more than the usual excitement. That was until we thought we were invincible and placed half our savings on Royal Athlete! After that we felt immortal. Been married 13 years now too!
Rough Quest 1996
This was a close one! A Grand National where a stewards enquiry had to be held as it seemed Rough Quest had drifted into Encore Un Peu’s path on the final run in.
A nervous few minutes until the enquiry had been completed suggest Rough Quest was too far away for the crossing of paths to have a relevant effect on the race and Rough Quest was named 1996 Grand National Winner.
Lord Gyllene 1997
The 1997 Grand National winner Lord GYllene was actually bred in New Zealand and with top jockey Tony Dobbin always had a fighting chance of getting the result.
The 1997 Grand National had to be moved due to bomb threats meaning the National had to be re-staged from the Saturday to the Monday.
One of seventeen who completed the race, he had to compete with greats such as Suny Bay, Master Oats and Nahthen Lad.
Lord Gyllene was retired in 2001 due to injury.
Memory of V. Fanning – May 23rd 2009 – UK
I worked in a call centre and had to work the Saturday. I was lucky enough to get off a little earlier for the National as I still had a 35 minute drive. Feel stupid now but I had enough time but I sped and was stopped by the police. They were understanding (slightly) and after all the usual paperwork and tests was sat in my car with the police listening to the race on Five Live. I think even one of the policemen won!!
Earth Summit 1998
A Great Horse. Earth Summit is the only horse to have won The Grand National, Welsh National and Scottish National. Having won the Scottish National in 1994 Earth Summit won the 1998 Grand National ahead of Suny Bay by a huge eleven lengths.
This was after a near fatal accident at the Haydock Course. Whilst he also won the Welsh National in 1997 at a great price of 25-1 Earth Summit will always be remembered as the horse that won a triple crown of Nationals. Something that may never be done again.
Earth Summit passed away peacefully in 2005 from cancer.
Memory of M. Etherington – 21st April 2009 – UK
I really remember the 1998 National well because my husband and I backed the winner Earth Summit at 18-1, but Jerry didn’t pay tax on the stake which was the thing to do at the time.
Therefore after betting £50 to win we would have expected £900, nonetheless a great race and good to get a win, even if we had to pay the Labour Party for the pleasure!
Bobbyjo ridden by Paul Carberry, won the 1999 Grand National and is remembered specifically because he was the first Irish trained horse to win the National in an astonishing 25 years. Incredible when you think of all the great Irish trained horses over that period of time. The jockeys father, Tommy Carberry, was the last jockey to ride an Irish trained National winner when L’Escargot won the 1975 National. The fact Bobbyjo won the Irish National the previous year in 1998 makes the story of this horse even more fascinating.
Bobbyjo died at the very early age of 11 due to the non-recovery of a broken bone in his knee.
Memory of T. O’Shea – April 10th 2009 – Ireland
This was the first Grand National I was legally allowed to bet on. Everyone at school was going on about Bobbyjo because we had a girl there that shared the same name. Unfortunately I didn’t listen and as a Michael Jackson fan I went for Double Thriller who fell at the first!
The thing that sticks most in my mind is that back then we had to pay tax before or after the race depending on the result. I suppose I was lucky in one way because I didn’t pay tax on the stake, saved me 90p!