Champions Red Rum and Desert Orchid
Red Rum Day
Other Scottish Country Dances for this Day
Today's Musings, History & Folklore
"And .... they're off!"
October 13th is Red Rum Day at the Carlisle racecourse in Cumbria, celebrating the anniversary of the legendary steeplechaser’s final victory in Cumbria in 1976. Almost 2 decades after his death, he still remains the best known racehorse in the UK. When asked to name a horse, Red Rum was named by 45% of Britons, with Black Beauty (from Anna Sewell's 1877 novel) in second with 33%. Red Rum even has his own Scottish tartan with his racing colours!
March 31st is the anniversary of Red Rum's famous win at the Grand National in 1973.
Red Rum, a bay gelding (1965 – 1995) was a champion Thoroughbred steeplechaser. He achieved an unmatched historic treble when he won the Grand National in 1973, 1974 and 1977, and also came second in the two intervening years (1975 & 1976).
The Grand National is a notoriously difficult race that has been described as "the ultimate test of a horse’s courage". He was also renowned for his jumping ability, having not fallen in 100 races.
Red Rum's 1973 comeback victory from 30 lengths behind is often considered one of the greatest Grand Nationals in history. 1973 is often considered among the greatest Grand Nationals of all time, and the dramatic final-stretch battle between the two greats Crisp and Red Rum has also been described as one of the greatest sporting moments.
The race is best remembered for his remarkable defeat of Crisp on the run-in, having trailed by 15 lengths at the final fence.
At the 30th and final fence, Crisp was still 15 lengths ahead of Red Rum. However, Crisp was beginning to tire badly on the 494-yard run-in. Red Rum made up considerable ground, and two strides from the finishing post he edged out Crisp by a mere three-quarters of a length, in a then-record time of nine minutes, 1.9 seconds (a record which would stand until it was beaten in the 1990 Grand National).
To see the dance performed by Red Rum - YouTube Scottish Country Dancing Video
Performance Of Red Rum - Dufftown Dance Club, 2015, see below.
And to see the last 3 minutes of this exciting race, click the victorious Red Rum and his jockey, Johnjo O'Neill in 1981.