Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Grand National Farrier/Jockey Journal Online

Mark Galliers is the Welsh farrier selected to become an overnight jockey sensation and ride on Grand National Day at Aintree this Saturday in a race that will donate almost $200,000 to the charity of his choice. If Mark wins, that money will go a children's cancer fund.

The Mirror newspaper in England has been publishing a journal of Mark's progress in riding up to 11 horses a day for trainer Evan Williams, who is his coach. Mark's also training on an Equiciser, which is a mechanical horse.

So far, I haven't found any mention of this being a reality television show, but it certainly sounds like one.

Mark's odds went from 3-1 yesterday to 8-1 today. One of the other riders must have received some good publicity! You can bet on Mark, if you can figure out if it's legal or not, through the Ladbrokes site. Speaking of odds, more than 3,500 people applied to ride in this race!

Mark is a Diplomate of the Worshopful Company of Farriers, and has been qualified in the UK since 1993. He's also a rugby player. I'm not sure if that would be a help or a handicap.

There are still something like 68 horses entered for the Grand National. I had never seen this race from start to finish,but last year the BBC posted the entire race video on their web site. It took something like nine minutes for the few horses that finished to get around the course.