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Grand National Fences

Fences 1 and 17 Coming across the Melling Road, the runners approach the first Hurdle, a standard 4ft 6in plain fence. Although simple enough, some of the runners are going too fast, while others are caught out by the Aintree drop if they are encountering it for the first time. Many horses have fallen at the first the year after wining the national.

Fences 2 and 18 Slightly taller than the previous fence, this fence stands 4ft 7in high. In earlier races te second jump was much taller at 5ft tall. On the second lap this is were some of the fancied runners start to make there move.

Fences 3 and 19 The third fence is the first major test for the runners. The fence is 5ft tall, but just before it there is a 6ft ditch marked by a guard rail. Horses unfortunate enough to land in the ditch are led out through a gate at either end.

Fences 4 and 20 Back to a normal fence, this time 4ft 10in tall. Not a particularly dangerous or difficult obstacle.

Fences 5 and 21 In rand National terms another relatively easy fence at 4ft 10in, On completing this fence the jockeys and crowd know that theys are now approaching the most difficult of them all, Becher's Brook.

Becher's Brook The most famous - possibly infamous - fence in sport. Becher's Brook stands at a modest 4ft 10in on the take-off side, but on landing there is a 2ft 'brook' - filled with 1" of water. The drop was much more severe on the inside of the track, but recently this has been levelled off.

Foinavon At just 4ft 6in you would think this would be an easy fence, however the seventh and 23rd fence was for many years overlooked as a potential major hazard until 1 stray horse unseat all but 1 rider at this fence.

Canal Turn One of the more unusual fences. The fence is plain, 5ft tall, but is positioned with a 90-degree turn to the left. Jumping the fence straight on can be disastrous to a horse's chance as many lengths can be lost before it can straighten up. Jockeys therefore try to get their mounts to angle across the fence.

Valentine's Brook Similar to Becher's but less severe - a 5ft obstacle with a brook and a drop on the landing side.

Fences 10 and 26 Fences 10 and 26 usually pose no problems after the previous 3 obstacles. The fence is 5ft high.

Fences 11 and 27 This is a formidable fence, 5ft tall and with a 6ft ditch on the takeoff side.

Fences 12 and 28 One of the few fences to remain since the race started in 1839 - a 5ft high jump with a 5 1/ ft ditch on the landing side.

Fences 13 and 29 On the first circuit, this fence rarely presents too much of a problem, at just 4ft 6in. On the second circuit, this is the second from home and the winner is usually well in there.

Fences 14 and 30 First time round this is another minor obstacle, but the final fence on the second circuit when horses are tiring, this can cause a few problems at just4ft 6in.

The Chair As the runners come past the stands on the first circuit, they are in the narrowest part of the racecourse. Ahead of them lies the biggest obstacle they will have to face - though thankfully only the once. The Chair is 5ft 2in high, 3ft wide and has a 6ft ditch on the take-off side.

Water Jump Like The Chair, this obstacle is jumped only once. It is only 2ft 9in high and has 9ft 6in of water on the far side, This rarely causes any problems.