Welsh farrier Mark Galliers is one of ten private citizens chosen from thousands of applicants to ride in The People's Race on Grand National Day (Saturday, April 14) at Liverpool, England's fabled Aintree racecourse.
Mark has turned into one of the favorites in the race after the following article appeared in England's widely read Sunday Mirror newspaper on April 1, 2007. The "John Smith's" referred to the article is the brewery sponsoring the race. Ladbroke's is a betting agency in England that is offering wagering on the ten less-than-novice riders. Here's the article that appeared on April 1 and shot Mark into the favorite's position:
Today, in conjuction with the Sunday Mirror, John Smith's reveals that Farrier Mark Galliers will have an extra spring in his step when he takes part in the John Smith's People's Race at Aintree on Saturday week. Because Galliers has invented a "go-faster" horseshoe that is set to revolutionise horse racing.
The new shoe is lighter and more aerodynamic. Unlike the traditional metal shoe, it is manufactured in a reusable heavy-duty plastic casing which is fitted with four simple AA batteries. When triggered from a remote-control device fitted behind the horse's head, the batteries send a soothing pulse to the hooves, which helps calm the animal and make it more receptive to the jockey's instructions.
Race sponsors John Smith's - whose brand logo incidentally features a horseshoe - are funding the project which is codenamed Pegasus.
Polar Foil, Galliers' mount in the John Smith's People's Race, will test the new footwear in the nine-furlong charity race on Grand National day at Aintree, with the horseshoe expected to be in general use by the end of the year.
Aintree Managing Director Charles Barnett has welcomed the innovation and it is understood that racehorse owners in the US have also expressed an interest in the new product.
The John Smith's People's Race will see 10 members of the public competing at Aintree on April 14 to win a share of the £100,000 charity prize donated by brewers Scottish Newcastle and Ladbrokes, the bookmaker.
(As said, this article was published in one of England's most popular newspapers on Sunday, April 1.)