Strangest Horse Racing Stories

Although for the most part horse races seem to be well ordered events, sometimes things can go terribly wrong and sometimes it seems that miracles can really happen.

Throughout history there have been some very strange horse racing.  Here are some of strangest horse races dating from the mid nineteenth century to the present day:

  • In the 1844 Epsom Derby the winner was disqualified for being too old. The race was for three year olds, yet the first past the post had also passed his fourth birthday.
  • The 1908 Grand National was won by Rubio, a horse that had been retired from racing and had spent the previous three years as a plough horse on a farm.
  • In the 1913 Epsom Derby there was a tragic incident. Emily Davison ran on to the course where a horse trampled her to death
  • In a 1918 horse race in Hong Kong the stands caught fire and 604 people perished. This remains the world’s worst sporting disaster.
  • In the 1928 Grand National only one horse, Tipperary Tim, completed the course
  • In a 1945 steeplechase the record was set for the slowest time ever for a winning horse. The Never Mind II refused a fence and the rider returned to the paddock. However, all the other horses fell or were disqualified so Never Mind II restarted and finished the race being declared the winner over eleven minutes after the race had started.
  • In 1966 at a horse race in Ghana all the jockeys went on strike as the authorities would not sacrifice a cow at a specific bend that was considered to be dangerous.
  • In the 1967 Grand National, for the second time only one horse, Foinavon, completed the course
  • In a race at the 1970 Royal Ascot meeting the first, second and third horses to the post were all disqualified for interference. The fourth horse past the post was declared the winner.
  • In 1993 the Grand National was abandoned following a false start.
  • In 1997 the Grand National was postponed for several days following a bomb hoax

So we’ve had the strange but let’s end this list on the story of legendary jockey Bob Champion who overcame huge odds and illness to achieve his goal.

Born in Yorkshire in 1948, Bob was destined for racing greatness taking to the saddle at a very early age and winning his first race at 15 years old.

Enjoying career success in the United States Bob would always come back to Britain for the Grand National, racing in it eight times before receiving the shocking news in 1979 that he had testicular cancer. Being given only eight months to live, the situation looked bleak however after some forceful treatment and even more forceful training with his horse, Aldaniti, Champion went on to win the Grand National title in 1981 and will go down in history as one of the most inspirational jockeys of all time.

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