Racing: Champion mourns the death of Aldaniti
Friday 28 March 1997
Aldaniti had been kept busy in retirement raising funds for the Bob Champion Cancer Trust, and the former jockey estimated last night that between them the pair had raised more than pounds 6m. "He helped me so much and even before I was ill he was always a horse I liked riding," Champion said. "When we won the National it was a lovely sunny day and I'll always remember it. I was certainly on the right horse that day. Apart from a mistake at the first, he jumped very well and gave me an armchair ride."
Aldaniti's trainer, Josh Gifford, recalled that the horse's enthusiasm sometimes got the better of him. "He always wanted to run faster and jump higher," he said. "And that's why he sometimes got himself into trouble. But that is why people loved him. And even when he was injured and had to spend six months in his box, he was a wonderful patient."
Aldaniti very nearly did not make it past the first fence in the 1981 National, landing too steeply and coming to his knees. But Champion held on and the pair completed one of the most popular successes in the history of the race.
Aldaniti did fall at the first fence in the 1982 Grand National, but made a more successful return to the course in 1987, when he was accorded a hero's welcome on the day of the big race at the end of a 250-mile fund- raising walk from London, ridden by, among others, the Princess Royal.
"It's not just the racing he'll be remembered for, but what he has done since as well," Gifford said. "He helped raise all that money for charity, and he and Bob gave hope to a lot of people. He always tried his heart out. He certainly gave me the fondest day of my racing career.
"It's very, very sad. He was jumping and kicking in a paddock at home only a short time before. Old age can be cruel but the horse was adored throughout his life and it's a wonderful way for him to go."
Aldaniti played himself in the film Champions, in which John Hurt played the part of Bob Champion. "His death is heart-breaking," Champion said. "He was a good old servant. We went through a lot together. He will be sadly missed."
Racing, page 29
Lincoln MP Karl McCartney 'denied all knowledge' of the Twitter activity
Detective novelist who wrote Death comes to Pemberley passed away peacefully at her home, aged 94
Sites using the popular Gigya comment platform were attacked by the Syrian Electronic Army (SEA)
Latest in Sport
Phil Hughes injury: Cricket world reels as Australian opener 'fights for his life'
Arsenal vs Borussia Dortmund player ratings: Who was the star man at the Emirates? Alexis Sanchez? Santi Cazorla? Or Yaya Sanogo?
Phil Hughes: A swashbuckling, raw and talented batsman who had the world at his feet
Phil Hughes dead: List of players who have tragically died on the cricket pitch
Arsenal vs Borussia Dortmund report: Yaya Sanogo and Alexis Sanchez are on target as Gunners secure impressive victory
- 1 Sean Abbott: Messages of support flood in for bowler following death of batsman Phil Hughes
- 3 Girl, 7, gets Tesco to remove 'stupid' sign suggesting superheroes are 'for boys'
- 4 This letter from a reader explains why women can’t play football
Ukip says babies born to immigrants in the UK should be classed as migrants – which would include Nigel Farage’s own children
Rochester by-election: Ukip gains second MP as Tory defector Mark Reckless holds seat
'Beast of Bolsover' Dennis Skinner takes Ukip MP Mark Reckless to task moments after he is sworn in
The young are the new poor: Sharp increase in number of under-25s living in poverty, while over-65s are better off than ever
Tamir Rice: 12-year-old boy playing with fake gun dies after being shot by Ohio police
Rochester aftermath: Sacking of Emily Thornberry will make work of Labour MPs '10 times harder'
£20000 - £22000 per annum: Argyll Scott International: Service Desk Analyst Re...
£400 - £420 per day: Langley James : IT Project Manager; 6 month FTC; Brighton...
£25000 per annum + training: Langley James : Web Developer; PHP, MySQL, Java; ...
£40000 - £60000 per annum + £100,000 OTE: h2 Recruit Ltd: Birmingham, Derby, L...