Records in the Grand National

2 April 2015

Back in 1977, the Grand National featured its first woman jockey, Charlotte Brew. She certainly did not have an easy time getting to ride in the event. It was only a year earlier that the equal opportunities legislation came into force ensuring that there was no discrimination in the jockeys for the Grand National. Most people did not take her entry seriously, especially seeing as she qualified by running fourth (last) in the Foxhunters’ Chase at Aintree in only her second race!

Born in 1955 in Marylebone Registration District (RD), Charlotte was the first child (of four) of Richard M. and Judith A. T. (née Hancock) Brew, who married in Braintree RD in 1953. Twenty-one-year-old Charlotte Brew nearly completed the race, though she was a long way behind the leaders. Her horse, Barony Fort, refused at the 26th fence. In the same year, Red Rum won the Grand National for a record third time, ridden by Tommy Stack.

The field was 42-strong though nearly half were eliminated from the race on the first circuit – nineteen had unseated their riders or fallen before the second circuit, including seven at the first fence. Going into the second circuit, John Williams held a substantial lead (the biggest going into the second round in Grand National history) on Boom Docker, but he refused to jump the 17th fence. Only eleven horses completed the race and sad, there were two equine fatalities. Winter Rain fell at Becher’s Brook on the first circuit and Zeta’s Son at Valentine’s (the second time around); both were later euthanised.

Today, as Charlotte Budd, she runs a catering company in Somerset, having married Jeremy D. Budd in Braintree RD in 1983. In an interview by Lee Honeyball for the Observer in 2006, she said: “I went back to Aintree in 1982 to try again, this time on a horse called Martinstown, who unseated me … I now cater for weddings and train point-to-point horses from my farm in Somerset. It’s funny because I was always hopeless at cooking, but my mother got fed up with me loitering around the house so made me learn. As the catering is mainly summer work, I get to spend the winter messing about and worrying about my horses and three children.”

Maybe one day a female jockey will win the Grand National….! Fancy placing a bet?

© 2024 Family Wise | Privacy Policy | Website created by: stellasoft