• Short Summary

    It was announced in December last year that, for the first time ever, three Russian horses would come to Britain for the most gruelling steeplechase in the world - the "Grand National".

  • Description

    It was announced in December last year that, for the first time ever, three Russian horses would come to Britain for the most gruelling steeplechase in the world - the "Grand National".

    Later, there were fears that the three horses - stallions "Epigraff", "Griffel" and "Reljef" - might be prevented from competing because of regulations about African horse sickness.

    This problem was solved Jan 26 when, in the House of Commons, London, Mr. Soames, the Minister of Agriculture, said that an order removing Russia from the list of countries precluded from sending horses to Britain because of this sickness would probably soon be made.

    Further complications arose when the Soviet Ministry of Agriculture threatened to withdraw the horses from the race as they had been handicapped at the top weight of twelve stone. Under the conditions of the "Grand National", a horse must have run three times in Britain before a handicapper can assess its merit.

    But Mar 2, Russia announced that their horses would be running after all. They set out from Moscow Mar 7 in their specially heated red horse box for a 2,000-mile rail journey through Poland, East Germany and Holland.

    They arrived in East Berlin Mar 10 where, according to the veterinary surgeon looking after them, they showed no signs of strain. There had been a slight delay at a railway siding at the Polish-East German border when East German officials insisted on a check-up because of the horse disease affecting Russia at the moment.

    Russian Jockey Boris Ponomarenko, two trainers, and the leader of the team, arrived at London Airport Mar 10. Other jockeys were due to arrive next day.

    Then, finally, at Harwich Mar 12, "Reljef", "Griffel" and "Epigraff" were swung ashore by crane - all in fine condition. They spent the night at stables near the quay and had a dawn canter before travelling on to Haydock Park at Liverpool - at last a chance to disperse with head-halters and bridles after their long journey.

    Soviet champion jockey Vladimir Prakhov had the last word on the subject. He said that after the Mar 25 race he hoped to be seen between two policemen. Asked why, he replied: "Because I know from films that's the way the Grand National winner is led in - with a policeman on each side."

  • Tags

  • Data

    Film ID:
    VLVAEGXKH3ZZKU5FN4PMJYBI8YZG5
    Media URN:
    VLVAEGXKH3ZZKU5FN4PMJYBI8YZG5
    Group:
    Reuters - Source to be Verified
    Archive:
    Reuters
    Issue Date:
    18/03/1961
    Sound:
    Unknown
    HD Format:
    Available on request
    Stock:
    Black & White
    Duration:
    00:01:54:00
    Time in/Out:
    /
    Canister:
    N/A

Comments (0)

We always welcome comments and more information about our films.
All posts are reactively checked. Libellous and abusive comments are forbidden.

Add your comment