Hi! It’s been a while, but I’ve had this amazing commission that's been keeping me busy.
Following an initial selection process last summer, I was lucky enough to be chosen, to design and make this year’s Grand National Trophy! The new sponsors, ‘Randox Health’ have decided for the first time in the history, to give a newly designed Trophy to the winner each year and also to recognize the jockey, trainer and the groom, by presenting them each with a small replica goblet. Great news for contemporary silver too.
Now with just a few days to go until the race, I thought I’d give a visual behind the scenes look at how it came together. It wasn’t a solo effort however, as there have been many people along this journey that have helped make this design a reality.
I wanted to capture the passion, speed and agility, of racing whilst tying in Randox’s groundbreaking technologies, that have changed world health.
The idea for the way the horse and jockey are depicted, came about after staying with a friend in Oregon, who collects historical Native American ‘Ledger Drawings’. I was surrounded by these symbolic, simple and graphic images of valiant warriors on horseback. They were really powerful and inspiring images.
As I tried to capture the energy in the design, my sketched lines soon turned into the name of Randox, as if racing around the top of the Trophy. The horse and jockey jumping over the leg of the ‘R’ make it specific to steeplechase, leaving a dust-trail of swirling DNA, atoms and hexagons in their wake.
It was important to me that the writing on the base was to be bold and enduring, with the red stone representing a drop of blood in the centre of the ‘O’ of RANDOX.
With just 12 weeks to make the 45cm tall trophy and three replica goblets in time for the delivery, I needed to enlist some of the best silversmithing expertise available. Thanks to The Goldsmiths’ Company and Andy and Carl at Padgham and Putland, I’ve been able to work alongside and be mentored by some of the very best and most experienced silversmiths in the country. This piece would not exist without their immense input and for that I’m hugely grateful.
The trophy was unveiled at the V&A on Valentine's Day, at a glamorous cocktail evening, to reveal 'The Weights' of the top 100 horses, that can run in this year's Grand National. Last years winner, 'Rule The World' made a special visit to the London red carpet and what a truly magnificent horse he was.
Having grown up in Liverpool it’s been such a huge thrill to be asked to create the Trophy for this great British tradition. I’m not normally a betting person, but I bet I won’t be able to resist, once I’m on the edge of the track on Saturday!