Becher’s Brook

In the history of the Grand National, no obstacle has caused more controversy than Becher’s Brook. Jumped as the sixth and twenty-second fence on the National Course, Becher’s Brook is named after Martin William Becher, a.k.a. Captain Becher, who was thrown into the brook by his mount, Conrad, during the inaugural running of the Grand National in 1839. In its heyday, Becher’s Brook consisted of a stiff, five-foot high post and rail fence with an eight-foot wide, water-filled ditch beyond and a three-foot drop on the landing side. In fact, it was once likened to ‘jumping off the edge of the world’.

However, Becher’s Brook has been significantly modified, in the name of safety, down the years and, despite being described by the RSPCA as a ‘killer fence’ as recently as 2012, is no longer the formidable obstacle that it once was. Three decades ago the ditch was partially filled in and the fence straightened and, more recently, the landing side of the fence was levelled, on more than one occasion, to make the obstacle more accommodating to horse and rider.

Nevertheless, the apparently innocuous – at least, from the take-off side – 4’10” fence still features a drop of between 5″ and 10″ on the landing side, such that horses descend, steeply, from an effective height of 6’9″. Getting in close and ‘fiddling’ over the fence is not really an option for jockeys, because of the difficulty in keeping horses balanced on landing, so Becher’s Brook remains a daunting obstacle.

Grand National 2024 – final declarations, runners and riders

  1. Noble Yeats Harry Cobden
  2. Nassalam Caoilin Quinn
  3. Coko Beach TBC
  4. Capodanno Keith Donoghue
  5. I Am Maximus Paul Townend
  6. Minella Indo Rachael Blackmore
  7. Corach Rambler Derek Fox
  8. Janidil Jody McGarvey
  9. Stattler Patrick Mullins
  10. Mahler Mission Ben Harvey
  11. Delta Work TBC
  12. Foxy Jacks TBC
  13. Galvin TBC
  14. Farouk D’Alene TBC
  15. Eldorado Allen Brendan Powell
  16. Ain’t That A Shame David Maxwell
  17. Vanillier Sean Flanagan
  18. Mr Incredible Brian Hayes
  19. Run Wild Fred TBC
  20. Latenightpass Gina Andrews
  21. Minella Crooner TBC
  22. Adamantly Chosen Sean O’Keeffe
  23. Mac Tottie James Bowen
  24. Chemical Energy TBC
  25. Limerick Lace Mark Walsh
  26. Meetingofthewaters Danny Mullins
  27. The Goffer TBC
  28. Roi Mage James Reveley
  29. Glengouly Michael O’Sullivan
  30. Galia Des Liteaux Harry Skelton
  31. Panda Boy TBC
  32. Eklat De Dire Darragh O’Keeffe
  33. Chambard Lucy Turner
  34. Kitty’s Light Jack Tudor