Grand National 2018

Grand National 2019: £1.5 million investment in Turf and Improvements for Horse Welfare

Huge improvements have been made in recent years at Aintree Racecourse to improve the welfare of horses racing there.

Changes introduced since 2012 include adapting and rebuilding the fences, facilities and stables.

From the very moment a horse arrives at Aintree the most important thing to the racecourse is their safety and welfare. The latest developments and innovations have improved the welfare of horses before, during and after races.

Pre-race medical checks

An important part of horse welfare is checking that horses are safe to race in the first place. The veterinary team at Aintree assess the health of horses so that they are safe to race and are not a danger to themselves or will endanger other horses.

Improved fence structure

Aintree has made significant improvements to the physical structure and composition of fences at Aintree. This has played a major role in improving the welfare of horses that race at Aintree. The video shows how the fences are made up and how they have improved the safety for horses jumping them.

New approaches and bypass areas to fences

Aintree has made significant changes to the approach of each fence, how they appear to the horses and jockeys jumping them and created safety bypass areas. The video shows how these changes have been made and the impact they have had.

Post-Race cooling & wash down area

Aintree has invested in some of the latest innovations with a dedicated cooling and wash- down area. These facilities help horses cool down and recover the very moment they leave the track after a race, in the same way an athlete would after competing. Take a look at how our dedicated team do this after each race.

Stables & Security

The security of horses that visit Aintree and the quality of the facilities the racecourse provides are of paramount importance for the entire time they are here. The stables are one of the most secure areas of the racecourse, closely monitored by the British Horseracing Authority. The security and medical facilities help provide the very latest in equine welfare.

Watch the video below:

£1.5 million investment in the turf at Aintree Racecourse

The famous turf at Aintree plays a huge part in assisting and improving the welfare of the horses that race on it. A total of £1.5 million has been invested at Aintree to ensure the safest ground is available to be raced on at all times, regardless of the weather and climate conditions.

The video below contains the following information:

The Turf and how it is prepared

An essential part of safe ground is the quality and length of the grass itself. The grass at Aintree is cut to precisely four inches for the whole circuit. This is to ensure it provides plenty of cushion.

The species of grass

To achieve the safest ground for horses to run on requires careful management of the actual species of grass grown. Different species have different roots and coverage. The video shows what species are grown at Aintree and why they provide the safest ground for horse welfare.

The soil and the ground

The make-up of the soil is essential for the grass to grow and for the horses to run on. Aintree has invested heavily in the latest machinery to manage the soil and ground all year round, 365 days a year. De-compacting the soil makes the ground more forgiving for horses to run on. Find out in the video how this is achieved  and what is involved to do it all-year round.

Precise and managed watering

At Aintree the latest technology is utilised to apply the correct amounts of water to the turf and soil to provide the safest ground. By regulating the water that goes onto the track, the density of the soil can be controlled to ensure it is always at its safest for racing – i.e. on the softer side of Good. The irrigation system enables Aintree Racecourse to create the safest take-off and landing areas for each fence on the track. Aintree is able to provide more spring for horses to take off better and more softness for them to land on.

You can view the video below:

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