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Why the Grand National is Such a Major Sporting Event?

Whether you’re intrigued by the majesty of the race, backing your favourite horse, or just attending for the splendid occasion, the Grand National is one of the biggest sporting events in the UK

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Here is why the Grand National is one of the biggest sporting events in UK. Pixabay
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  • Grand National is one of the biggest sporting events
  • Everywhere it garners a massive audience
  • Almost everyone in the United Kingdom is a huge fan this horse racing event

Every year, the Grand National garners a massive gathering. But, this huge crowd of people watching the Grand National at the venue and on television isn’t the collective of horse racing fans. Almost everyone in the United Kingdom, regardless of horse racing fandom and knowledge, has a flutter on the major event. Now, thanks to the wonders of the internet, people all over the world are tuning in and watching the horses that they back.

But why exactly does the Grand National stand in such high prestige, and how does it draw such a massive audience?

The Race Itself

Source: BBC Sport, via Twitter
Source: BBC Sport, via Twitter

The Grand National is one of the premier jump events on the horse racing calendar – likely only trailing the Gold Cup at the Cheltenham Festival in the opinion of most. To add to the trials of the jumps, the race takes place over a massive four miles and two-and-a-half furlongs. As the longest race in Great Britain, that also incorporates jumps, it’s seen as a great test of skill and stamina for the horses and jockeys.

Due to the nature of the race as well the massive field of competing horses – the most to line up was 66 horses in 1992 – upsets occur regularly. The last five winners have all had starting prices above 10/1, including One For Arthur’s 14/1 in 2017, Rule The World’s 33/1 in 2016, and Auroras Encore’s 66/1 in 2013.

At the 2018 Randox Health Grand National (14th April), there’s still a huge field of horses for people to back. According to William Hill, Blacklion, Tiger Roll, and Total Recall are the favourites at 10/1, but that doesn’t preclude the 16/1 The Last Samurai, or the 33/1 Vieux Lion Rouge from winning.

So, whether you back the favourite horse by the bookies, your favourite number, or a grey horse, there’s always the chance that your horse will stay in the race and jump all 30 fences while others fall by the wayside.

The Occasion

Source: BBC Merseyside, via Twitter
Source: BBC Merseyside, via Twitter

While other horse racing venues, such as Cheltenham and Epsom, boast the more recognisable tracks, Aintree is not only a scenic location, but it’s also in an area of residence. It’s known as the People’s Race; being so entrenched in the local community of Aintree embodies that sentiment.

With the Grand National seen as a major date on the calendar, people dress up in their finest and wackiest attire. Aintree is flooded with people who want to see the annual race as well as get swept up in all of the pageantry and the atmosphere.

One pub in particular now goes hand-in-hand with the Grand National. The Queens, which stands just a minute away from the racecourse, says that the Grand National weekend is the best of the year. With the bar open, barbecues fired up, and lots of music, The Queens becomes the perfect post-race venue.

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Much of the buzz comes from everyone having the chance to win a bet. This gets people cheering in a sport that they may not follow for most of the year. In fact, last year, it was predicted that in the UK alone, around £250 million was wagered on the Grand National.

Whether you’re intrigued by the majesty of the race, backing your favourite horse, or just attending for the splendid occasion, the Grand National is one of the biggest sporting events in the UK every year.

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Tips to be a Smart Adventure Sports Lover

Adventure sports are unique in their adrenaline-inducing capabilities, owing to the thrill and 'risque' factor involved. However, a sports lover must venture into such extreme activities after being educated into the art of taking a 'calculated risk, say experts. Niharika Nigam, Business Development Director at Jumpin Heights, lists some precautionary measures that need to be kept in mind

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While going on for an adventure trip, one must pack efficiently and smartly.
traveling, pixabay

Adventure sports are unique in their adrenaline-inducing capabilities, owing to the thrill and ‘risque’ factor involved. However, a sports lover must venture into such extreme activities after being educated into the art of taking a ‘calculated risk, say experts.

Niharika Nigam, Business Development Director at Jumpin Heights, lists some precautionary measures that need to be kept in mind:

* Research on your destination and associated safety measures: The success and failure of this industry comes down to one primary aspect and that is safety. One should do some primary research on the company providing their chosen activity before visiting, look up testimonials, ratings and should take appropriate measures.

While going on for an adventure trip, one must pack efficiently and smartly.
Winter Sports, pixabay

Ask questions about the safety practices followed, understand how disciplined is the organisation in the maintenance of the same.

* Pack wisely and smartly for the trip: While going on for an adventure trip, one must pack efficiently and smartly. They should carry all the necessary trip accessories like water bottle, flashlight or torch, portable charger, sunglasses, sleeping bag sheet, medicines and some toiletries in their backpacks.

While going on for an adventure trip, one must pack efficiently and smartly.
backpack, representational image, pixabay

* Loosen up: The whole point of adventure sports is to expand our horizon, shatter the glass ceiling we set for ourselves and step out of our comfort zones. Acknowledging this larger picture pushes one to truly embrace the experience and squeeze out every ounce of benefit and glory from that one exhilarating opportunity.

Pushpendra Sharma, Founder of HotelDekho.com, suggests:

* The fitness challenge: Understanding your fitness levels is important to get the maximum out of your adventure. Do not put your health at risk by trying something that you are clearly not capable of. Ensure you have got your medical tests done and consulted your doctor before attempting something you have never done before. The tests may vary depending on the nature of the activity you are planning to indulge in.

While going on for an adventure trip, one must pack efficiently and smartly.
paragliding, pixabay

* Get insured: Buy a travel insurance plan that will safeguard you and your loved ones in case of any unforeseen incidents during your adventure trip. Before buying a policy go through the details and consult an expert to see if the plans will cover the mishaps that could result from the sport you are going to attempt. There are many insurance options, however, choosing a suitable one is always a challenge. (IANS)

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