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Statue to Dick Francis to be unveiled at 2022 Grand National Festival
A life-size statue of champion jump jockey, bestselling author and former WW2 RAF pilot Dick Francis will be unveiled at Aintree during the Randox Grand National Festival which gets underway on Thursday 7th April 2022. This permanent tribute to Francis will be a celebration of his remarkable life which included contesting the Grand National itself on no less than eight occasions as well as helping save Aintree Racecourse when it was threatened with closure.
Francis died in 2020 at the age of 89 and he spent two decades as a Trustee of Aintree. He is also said to have introduced a greater number of people around the world to UK jumps racing than anyone else thanks to his writing. Francis has written 42 racing-themed crime books which between them have sold in excess of 60 million copies.
The Dick Francis statue has been created by William Newton and it was instigated by Peter Johnson who is a fan of Dick Francis as well as a former point-to-point jockey and fine art dealer. The bronze statue will take pride of place outside the weighing room at Aintree Racecourse and the unveiling will be by Her Royal Highness The Princess Royal at 2pm on Thursday 7th April 2022.
The statue itself will depict Francis as a jockey and the inspiration came from a photograph of him taken in the parade ring at Aintree prior to riding Devon Loch in the 1956 Grand National.