Red Rum galloped into the history books when winning the Grand National for a record-breaking third time in 1977 and now he has been crowned the nation’s most famous horse.

In a survey commissioned by The Brooke Hospital for Animals, 45% of the 1,945 people polled opted for the Aintree specialist, with fictional equine hero Black Beauty taking second spot (33%) and abducted Derby winner Shergar in third (23%).

But the survey had a more serious side as the Brooke endeavoured to discover what the public consider to be the toughest job performed by equines in some of the poorest parts of the world.

Ferrying sand and gravel from riverbeds received 22% of the vote, but 20% of those polled believed all such physical work to be equally as bad.

The Brooke Hospital for Animals website