Saturday, 9 April 2011

Grand National: Racing, Jockeys and... Robots?


So, today's the day of the Grand National here in the UK: a "world-famous National Hunt horse race which is held annually at Aintree Racecourse near Liverpool, England". the perilous course, leads to some quite unexpected results, and within the British public there is a culture of many people placing bets on a wide variety of horses.

- In 1928, only 2 horses finished the race, the fewest ever recorded
- 5 horses have won with odds of 100/1: Tipperary Tim (1928), Gregalach (1929), Caughoo (1947), Foinavon (1967) & Mon Mome (2009)
- It is the most valuable National Hunt event in Britain, offering a total prize fund of £950,000 in 2011
- The word jockey is by origin a diminutive of "jock", the Northern Englishor Scots colloquial equivalent of the first name "John," which is also used generically for "boy, or fellow"
- Jockey insurance premiums are one of the highest of all professional sports, not surprising as between 1993 and 1996, 6,545 injuries occurred during official races for an injury rate of 606 per 1,000 jockey years.
- In Australia race riding is regarded as being the second most deadly job, after offshore fishing
- Robot jockeys are replacing human jockeys in camel racing. In Saudi Arabia, Bahrain,United Arab Emirates, and Qatar, small children were often used. However, to combat this and the human rights abuses they often suffer, child jockeys are slowly being banned in favour of robot equivalents:

Just me or do they look like cordless drills?
Did you place a bet on the Grand National? Would you be a jockey given the right physical attributes? Would you let your camel be ridden by a cordless drill?

16 comments:

  1. I'm not an avid gambler but I do dabble. I've been tempted by the Grand National but it's football I usually bet on. Nice fact finding though blogger ;)

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  2. The idea of a robot riding a camel is really entertaining. xD

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  3. @Leo Stahl: Thanks!

    @Alison: Haha, I'm an engineer: when I first read this the first thing I subconsciously did was design the rough overview. I had to stop myself going through the technicalities when I realised I wouldn't have a test-camel =(

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  4. That's funny! Someday, I hope you are gifted with a test camel for all of your engineering needs.

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  5. They look like a mini-robot police force lol.

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  6. I would be interested in seeing these cordless drills riding a camel.

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  7. Robot jockeys eh? Kinda silly, but okay.

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  8. That's just too awesome. THE FUTURE IS NOW! xD

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  9. dunno how I feel about this.

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  10. What the hell? Robots are racing camels? Hah that's funnier than children racing camels!!

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  11. Very interesting! I would love to see a race with the robot jockeys.

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  12. well robots will only continue to expand into everything

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  13. I saw a video of this little fellows, some funny sht.

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