On this day in history : 3rd April 1993 – After a series of events at the start, including protesters on the course, the Grand National ends in chaos and the race is declared void….
An estimated 300 million people around the World watched the shambles unfold live on television at the Aintree racecourse in Liverpool….
The problems had started even before the race had begun…. Fifteen animal rights protesters had managed to get on to the track near to the first fence…. After a delay, whilst the protesters were dealt with, the horses and riders were requested to line up again….
What then followed was farcical….two false starts caused by horses becoming tangled with the starting tape…. It was on the second false start that 30 out of 39 riders failed to realise what was happening…. Keith Brown, the starter – and who was officiating his last race before his retirement – had raised the red flag but it had not unfurled…. The crowd shouted to the jockeys to stop and officials attempted to flag them down….
Eleven riders completed the first circuit before realising…. Another seven carried on oblivious – completing the two laps of the four and a half mile gruelling race with its thirty obstacles….only realising their mistake on their finish….
Esha Ness, a 50-1 outsider ridden by John White, crossed the finishing line first….ironically in the second fastest time in the race’s history…. What would have been the 147th running of the Grand National was declared void by the Jockey Club – and the race was not rerun…. Bookmakers faced refunding £75m placed in bets….
An inquiry was launched leading to a number of changes to the starting and recall procedures of the Grand National….