The stable hands who care for Grand National winner One for Arthur have said seeing their charge take the title has made the long hours worthwhile.
Jaimie Duff, head stable girl at Lucinda Russell’s yard near Milnathort, gave an insight into the behind the scenes processes following the legendary race.
She said the horses have cold water thrown over them and are stood in front of giant fans to prevent them becoming ill from heat exhaustion.
She said: “We came off the track and Aintree were brilliant – they had you straight in the cooling area with lots of fans with water spraying out and buckets. Everyone did a great job of chucking water on him and getting him cool as quickly as possible.
“We had a horse overheat at Kelso the other week and it’s very distressing for them. It can prove fatal so it’s very important to get their body temperature down as fast as possible and Aintree are absolutely fantastic at getting all that sorted. Horse welfare is paramount.”
Jaimie, who drives the yard’s lorries, said that the feeling of elation among the team meant the journey home seemed to take no time at all.
She said: “We didn’t leave Aintree until after 8pm and got home at 1.30am – the journey home felt very short indeed.
“I am absolutely knackered today. It’s very surreal; nobody can really believe what’s happened.
“That’s why we do things like this. We are up very early and home very late in the winter with racing, so this just makes everything worthwhile.”
Oli Russell, Lucinda’s nephew, said that Arthur was taking his new found fame in his stride.
He said: “For a horse that’s having a million of photos taken of him, he’s very calm. Some horses wouldn’t deal with it but he’s such a great natured horse.”