1. Can a ‘working mother’ beat the boys at Aintree?
It’s been over 70 years since a mare won the Grand National, but the story of Snow Leopardess, a 10-year-old grey mare who has returned to racing after having a foal, has really caught the public’s imagination. Her performance over the Grand National fences in the Unibet Becher Chase at Aintree in December showed she had the grit and ability to hold her rivals at bay that day despite testing conditions. Owned and bred by the Fox-Pitts, it would be a fairytale ending if she were to come home in front on Saturday.
2. A pair reunited
It’s always heart-warming when a horse and rider are reunited after a long period apart, but when the owner had given up hope of ever seeing her much-loved equine partner again, it’s particularly emotional. Having lost touch with her horse Dylan many years before, Charlee Cummins urged anyone in a similar position not to give up hope after finding him through the power of Facebook. “It was just amazing,” she said. “I’d thought about it happening so many times but never thought it would. Letting him go was the biggest mistake we’ve ever made but it’s been rectified now.”
3. A British 18-year-old winning her first five-star grand prix
Rising star Grace Debney had a dream come true when winning her first-ever five-star class – the $37,000 1.45m CSI5* – at the age of 18 during the final week of the Winter Equestrian Festival in Florida. Grace was riding Zarina De Vidau, a horse she has come up through the ranks with since competing in US junior jumper classes, who she describes as having been “her rock”. The 18-year-old, who is the subject of the H&H Interview in this Thursday’s magazine (on sale 7 April), admitted: “I never actually thought it would come true, but the fact that it is with her is unbelievably special.”
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