How many horses have died in the Grand National?
The Grand National was officially inaugurated in 1839 and, in 173 runnings since, a total of 84 horses have lost their lives during the world famous steeplechase, either by being killed outright or by being humanely euthanised after sustaining injury during the race. In 2021, for example, The Long Mile broke a hind leg after jumping Becher’s Brook on the second circuit and was subsequently euthanised, as was Up For Review, who was brought down at the first fence in the previous renewal of the Grand National in 2019.
Down the years, Becher’s Brook, which is jumped as the sixth and twenty-second fence during the Grand National, has proved the deadliest of the sixteen fences on the National Course, with 14 fatalities. However, in recent years, the Jockey Club, which owns Aintree Racecourse, has invested millions of pounds into improving the physical structure and composition of the fences, approach and landing areas, etc, in the name of safety. Thus, while 13 horses have been killed in the Grand National since the turn of the twenty-first century, most of the fatalities occured up to, and including, 2012. That year, According To Pete, who was brought down at Becher’s Brook second time around, and Synchronised, who survived a fall at Becher’s Brook first time around, but broke a leg when running loose, were both euthanised.