Which is the longest horse race run in Britain?
Although it has not been run over its traditionally advertised distance of 4 miles 4 furlongs since 2012, the longest horse race in Britain is still officially the Grand National at Aintree. In 2013, the National Course underwent a physical change when, in the name of safety, the position of the start of the Grand National was moved forward by approximately one hundred yards. The thinking behind the move was two-fold; in the first place, the revised start position meant that participants were further removed from the grandstands and distracting crowd noise and, in the second, reduced the distance over which horses could build up a ‘head of steam’ on the run to the first fence.
Consequently, the advertised distance of the Grand National was reduced to 4 miles 3½ furlongs and stayed that way until 2016, when it was further reduced to 4 miles 2½ furlongs, or 4 miles 2 furlongs and 74 yards, to be precise. The National Course did not change, but Aintree, along with every other National Hunt racecourse in the country, was re-measured along a line two yards from the inside rail, rather than along the middle of the track, thereby reducing the overall distance of the Grand National.