LIVERPOOL, England (AP) — In the end, nothing could stop Corach Rambler in another eventful edition of the Grand National.
The 8-1 favorite produced a strong finish to win the world-famous horse race, which was delayed for 15 minutes Saturday after animal rights activists scaled fences around the perimeter of the course and got onto the track. Some of the activists apparently attempted to affix themselves to the race fences using glue and lock-on devices, according to the Animal Rising organization, before being taken away by police and security officials.
Other activists, some using ladders, were prevented from getting onto the track by security, who shook the outer fences. Local residents were seen helping to keep the activists away from the course.
The race was briefly delayed as a result and the 39 horses were kept in the parade ring.
Corach Rambler didn’t appear to be affected by the disjointed buildup and gave trainer Lucinda Russell a second victory in the Grand National in its 175th edition.
Under jockey Derek Fox, Corach Rambler jumped the last of the fences in front and came home in front of Vanillier. Gaillard Du Mesnil was third.
“Those guys that went out to protest on the course, they think it’s about horse welfare but that horse loves the sport,” Russell said. “He loves everything that he does. He’s kept in the best condition and I’m just so delighted that he can run in a race like that and perform like that.
“He has got greatness and it’s what he deserves. Corach Rambler, in our hearts, is just the best horse. Now in the public hearts he is as well.”
The race took place after three people were arrested in connection with a plan by the activists to disrupt the race, which they succeeded in doing. All three were arrested on “suspicion of conspiracy to cause public nuisance,” Merseyside Police said.
After the race, police said nine people were arrested for attempting to get onto the track.
The Grand National is among the biggest occasions on the British sporting calendar and is regarded as one of the most dangerous horse races in the world because of the size of the fences.
Organizers said Hill Sixteen, one of the fallers in the race, died after sustaining an “unrecoverable injury.”
That took the number of equine deaths to three during the three-day festival, after Envoye Special on Thursday and Dark Raven in a race on Saturday before the Grand National.
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