Aintree News 7th - 9th April 2005

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New Grand National Trophy Unveiled
As new sponsors of the Grand National, John Smith's was invited to create a new perpetual trophy for the event.

Leading design consultants Turner Duckworth had already carried out the important work of combining the John Smith's identity with the event to create the new Grand National event logo and the agency was briefed to produce initial concepts for the new trophy.

From initial design concepts, Turner Duckworth began discussions with a number of leading sculptors before finally awarding the commission to Philip Blacker. Philip has a long association with The Grand National, not only as a sculptor but also in a 14-year career as a professional jump jockey, during which time he rode 340 winners and was placed in the National.

In addition to sculpting the new Grand National trophy, Philip is currently working on two other life-size horse sculptures (Persian Punch for Newmarket to be unveiled this October, and a dressage horse for the Penang Turf Club, Malaysia). His past work includes the life-size sculpture of the legendary Red Rum, which stands proudly next to the Winners' Enclosure at Aintree.

Nigel Pollard, Head of Public Relations and Sponsorship, Scottish Courage was very clear on what the sponsor was looking for. "We had a fantastic opportunity to create something totally new and visually stunning. John Smith's is all about 'no nonsense' and our aim was to capture the sense of pride and triumph of a horse that has just completed the challenging Aintree course and won the John Smith's Grand National. Philip's work embodies the traditional values of racing while looking forward to a new era. The trophy will look as impressive on television as it will in the winning owner's trophy cabinet."

Charles Barnett, Managing Director of Aintree commented on the unveiling of the trophy today - "It is a stunning piece of work and everybody is so pleased with Philip's interpretation of the subject matter

We've been involved in the various creative stages of the commission and I think the new trophy will swiftly become an enduring symbol of the qualities needed to win the greatest horse race in the world."

In keeping with race traditions, the new perpetual trophy will be engraved with the details of the winning horse and held for a year by the winning owner/s. On handing the trophy back, winning owners will receive a life size replica trophy, courtesy of John Smith's to help relive memories of their historic day for years to come.

grand national trophy
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