A Grand National superstar, and two sad farewells – what the horse world is talking about

Horse & Hound’s daily debrief, brought to you every weekday

  • 1. I Am Maximus’s Grand National victory

    I Am Maximus put in an impressive performance to win the 2024 Randox Grand National, giving jockey Paul Townend his first win in the race he described as the one “every young boy with a pony wants to win”. The horse, trained by Willie Mullins, started as 7/1 joint-favourite, and won by 7 ½ lengths. Corach Rambler, winner of last year’s edition, unseated jockey Derek Fox at the first fence. In all 32 horses started, with 21 finishing – of the rest, four jockeys were unseated and seven horses pulled up.

    Read more from Paul and Willie

    2. Farewell to ‘an amazingly knowledgable horseman’

    John Parker, whose son Fred described as having “dedicated his life to the horse industry from the arrival of his first pony in 1960”, died on the 4 March aged 77. What became John Parker International, a business that now transports more the 5,000 horses each year, started “by accident” after the sale of a lorry to Malta in 1977, which had to be delivered with horses on board. John was also a passionate showjumper who produced and sold horses, and was described as an “amazingly knowledgeable horseman”.

    Obituary: John Parker

    John Parker obituary

    John Parker was a passionate showjumper

    3. Former eventer and leading course-designer passes away

    Ronald Alexander, a celebrated international course-designer and former event rider and hunt master, has died aged 81. Ronald took up riding aged 16, on the suggestion of his father, a doctor, who thought he should get some fresh air. He became master of the Eglinton in 1969 where he remained for about 25 years. His eventing career included contesting Burghley twice. A career in course-design began after his cousin Margaret Quarm started a horse trials at her home, Annick Lodge, and asked him to use his knowledge of architectural design to design a few fences.

    Obituary: Ronald Alexander

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