Renowned silversmith Shannon O’Neill is collaborating once again with Grand National sponsors Randox Health to create the 2018 trophy – before the process of designing and developing the sought-after trophy becomes a nationwide competition.
Shining a light on one of the most prestigious industries in the UK – the Goldsmiths Company – this will mark the first time that a trophy of this prominence has been determined by a competition, which will challenge craftsmen to produce a design which is then selected by a panel of expert judges.
Dr Peter FitzGerald, Founder and Managing Director of Randox Health, said:
“There is no other race that captures the public imagination like the Randox Health Grand National and so drawing back the curtain to reveal how the coveted trophy is developed will be fascinating. The Goldsmiths Company and its craftsmen and women are renowned throughout the world yet so little is known about this group of amazingly talented and creative artists. We’re very excited to be introducing this element to the 2019 Festival.”
The competition follows on from the introduction by Randox Health last year, of additional miniature trophies which were presented to the winning team made up of jockey Derek Fox, trainer Lucinda Russell and groom Jaimie Duff. These scale representations were modelled on the official trophy presented to One For Arthur’s owners Belinda McClung and Deborah Thomson.
Lucinda Russell, One for Arthur’s trainer, said:
“As anyone who knows racing will appreciate, winning is a team effort. It was wonderful for Randox Health to recognise that, and fantastic for each of us to receive these beautiful trophies to mark what has been the most incredible time of our lives.”
Working alongside Randox Health to create the 2018 trophy, and tipped to be one of the expert judges on the competition panel, is Shannon O’Neill;
“It’s difficult to put into words just how incredible an experience it is to work on the Randox Health Grand National trophies. It is a huge honour, and it was a very special moment for me to see Derek Fox holding the trophy at Aintree last year.
“There is so little known about the world of goldsmiths, and the amazing talent we have in the UK. Bringing that talent to the fore through a nationwide competition is very exciting. One of the things that Randox is committed to is championing the best in the UK be it in science, sport or the arts. There is no limit to the imagination or skills of the goldsmiths in the UK and I can’t wait to see the innovative designs that this new competition will facilitate.”
Details about the 2019 competition will be revealed later this year. It is expected that the judging panel will include a number of experts as well as well-known personalities.
The 2018 Randox Health Grand National trophy will be unveiled at The Weights event in February, before being taken on a tour of schools in Northern Ireland and Liverpool.