Known as the world’s greatest steeplechase - The Grand National is one of the most iconic races in the sporting calendar. From office sweepstakes to die hard turf aficionados, it’s an event that captivates.
Of all the thoroughbreds to take on this famous race, one horse’s legacy is writ large at Aintree - Red Rum. A triple winner at Aintree and seconded twice - Liverpool’s legendary equine son has never been matched. Beyond his racing record, no horse has captured the affection of the nation the way Red Rum did. Stabled behind a used car garage, crippled by bone disease, his it the ultimate tale of resilience and courage.
To celebrate the 50th anniversary of Red Rum's first Aintree victory in 1973, we collaborated with The Jockey Club team to re-imagine a large hospitality space in The Princess Royal Stand.
It was clear that story had to be at the heart of our design. With extensive archival research and support from Historian Jane Clarke, we dug deep into Red Rum’s life and the people and places that shaped him.
We created palettes and patterns inspired by Red Rum’s racing silks and blankets of burgundy and mustard, paired with the rich green tones of Aintree - his second home. Together, these make the space feel modern and vibrant, yet still rooted in heritage.
With our graphic and environmental storytelling, we wanted to keep the voices and images of people who were part of Red Rum’s journey front and centre - from the unforgettable commentary of Peter O’Sullevan, to trainer Ginger McCain’s wicked sense of humour.
As Red Rum was in the same breath a sporting legend and an everyman’s horse - we made use of higher level storytelling opportunities to celebrate Red Rum’s prowess at Aintree, and lower level (like tables) to tell the more humorous and eccentric stories to spark conversations over a pint.
Our other design work included a graphic application on the outside of the building and a newly designed cabinet to house Red Rum’s trophies.
The new "Rum and Ginger" bar hosted racing fans at this year’s Randox Grand National Festival - made all the more special with Red Rum's racing trophies returning to Aintree.
This work is part of The Jockey Club’s wider ‘Red Rum 50’ project taking place from 2023-2027.