GN 2018 AJA and Aintree letter
As we approach The 2018 Randox Health Grand National Festival we wanted to write to all jockeys ahead of the Meeting to inform you of changes and to share some welfare messages that we hope will be helpful should you be approached by the media for comment ahead of, during or after The Grand National Festival.
Repeat of Course Walk initiative introduced last year.
Leaving the Weighing Room at 10.15am on all three days of the Meeting will be a course walk of the National course lead by a BHA Jockey Coach. On Thursday this will be recently retired Brian Harding, and on Friday and Saturday dual Grand National winning jockey Carl Llewellyn. This will take place on ALL three days of the Meeting – the same initiative is also being made available to the professional jockeys who are riding in the Topham and the Grand National.
We would strongly urge all first and second time riders over the National fences to join this walk on the Thursday. Other riders are of course equally welcome and we feel this will be of immense value to those who participate.
Pre-Race Procedures and Briefings
1. Foxhunter Chase
As last year, there will be a Pre-Race Briefing in the Stewards Room at 12 noon on Thursday and all jockeys riding in the Foxhunter Steeplechase must attend.
2. The Start
The start procedures will be the same that have been in place all season; please listen to the Starter.
If you are out the race, and it is safe to do so, any assistance in catching loose horses would be much appreciated.
Once again there will be “catching pens” at the 4th and 8th (Canal Turn) and the 12th (the last fence before crossing over Melling Road).
In thanking those of you who pulled up last year. We would once again urge you to do the same if you are out of contention as it is very important from a welfare perspective.
If you do not finish in the first four please do unsaddle in the wash-down area, where there is an excellent team on hand to assist with washing down horses.
For those fortunate enough to be interviewed by ITV Racing, we have requested that they speak to you before the post-race interview to confirm you are happy with the well-being of your horse. If you feel the need, please dismount and move away from the horse and continue the interview on foot.
If you are asked to do an interview, or are questioned about the Grand National or jump racing in general, we hope you might find some of the attached key messages useful. If you are approached to speak to the press and would like any further information, or would prefer not to do the interview, please do call us, or pass the journalist on to one of us.
Thank you for taking the time to read this. If you have any questions or queries, please do not hesitate to get in touch with one of us on the telephone numbers below.
Racing Manager North West Aintree Racecourse
Aintree Media Relations
Chief Executive, AJA
Enc. RHGN 2018 Key Messages
PDF version of The Grand National and Equine Welfare