Memories of the 1932 Grand National hero Forbra will be revived when descendants of the families involved gather for the first time to attend the race run in the horse’s honour at Ludlow on Thursday.
The Forbra Gold Cup Handicap Chase, that commemorates the Aintree hero, is being staged for a remarkable 65th time, making it one of the longest continuous trophy races in the National Hunt calendar.
Forbra, a 50-1 chance trained by Tom Rimell and partnered by Tim Hamey, successfully carried the colours of Ludlow town councillor and bookmaker William Parsonage, beating Egremont by three lengths to net the £8,165 first prize at Aintree.
The gathering has been organised by former racing reporter Will Lefebve, nephew of the winning rider.
He will be joined at the Shropshire venue by Hamey’s eldest grandson, Paul, plus members of the Parsonage family. It was they who paid for the magnificent gold trophy in 1955.
“All my working life I’ve been aware of the Forbra Gold Challenge Cup taking place at Ludlow and it’s always passed me by,” said Lefebve.
“At Christmas time I thought ‘this year I’m going to be there’ and I’ve organised a wonderful get together.
“The race was named after my uncle’s Grand National winner.
“Uncle Tim was very special to me. He was a big part of my life.
“Ludlow have been very kind to us and are putting our party in the Forbra room. I’ve liaised with Grand National winning-rider Bob Davies (former Ludlow clerk of the course), who also rode a winner of the Forbra Gold Cup.”
Also present will be relatives of Forbra’a trainer plus a handful of jockeys and trainers to have tasted victory in the three-mile event, alongside Simon Parsonage, great-grandson of Forbra’s owner.