Red Rum Day
"Respect this place, this hallowed ground, A legend here his rest has found. His feet would fly, our spirits soar. He earned our love for evermore." ~ Red Rum's epitaph (1965-1995)
"Bred wrong, sold cheap, raced too young ... " but Red Rum, a bay Thoroughbred steeplechaser won his final Grand National today in 1976 ("the ultimate test of a horse's courage") after his historic win in 1973 and again in 1977, and also came second in the two intervening years, 1975 and 1976. The 1973 race in which Red Rum secured his comeback victory from 30 lengths behind is often considered one of the greatest Grand Nationals in history. His record has never been beaten.
October 13 is Red Rum Day at the Carlisle racecourse in Cumbria, England and celebrates the 40th anniversary of the legendary steeplechaser’s final victory in Cumbria in 1976.
To celebrate, racegoers usually ‘Wear Red For Rummy’, with free entry being offered to anyone born in 1976 and a free red fizz cocktail for anyone who wears red on the day.
Britain's favourite racehorse, Red Rum, is the only horse in the history of the Grand National Steeplechase to win the race three times, and to make that feat further astonishing, he ran in it two other times and was placed second! In his historic run in 1974, he followed that with a victory in the Scottish Grand National, and remains the only horse to win both in the same season!
The 1973 race in which Red Rum secured his comeback victory from 30 lengths behind is often considered one of the greatest Grand Nationals in history. And in a 2002 UK poll, Red Rum's historic third triumph in the Grand National was voted the 24th greatest sporting moment of all time.
The tartan colours used are green was for the turf and maroon and gold for his racing colours.
Red Rum was bred at Rossenarra stud in Kells, County Kilkenny, Ireland, by Martyn McEnery. McEnery gave Red Rum his name by taking the last three letters of the names of his dam (Mared) and sire (Quorum) respectively.
In 1977 Red Rum appeared as a studio guest at the BBC Sports Personality of the Year awards ceremony. Viewers were delighted when the horse seemed to recognise the voice of his jockey Tommy Stack, who was appearing by video link from another location.
Click the commemorative stamp of Red Rum to see his famous interview as BBC Sports Personality of the Year.