This film is part of Free

Ambush II at Eyrefield Lodge, The Curragh (1902)

The 1900 Grand National winner at home with his trainer in County Kildare

Non-Fiction 1902 4 mins Silent


This rare early footage is thought to be the earliest surviving film of a Grand National winner. In the 1900 race, Ambush II had sensationally defeated the favourite, the twice-winner Manifesto, who led at the last fence. The film was shot over two separate visits in January 1902 to the gelding's stables in County Kildare, during a tour of Ireland by cameramen working for travelling filmmakers Mitchell and Kenyon.

Ambush was unavailable (asleep!) on the camera crew's first visit, so they made do with shooting the stable lads jumping hedges, in a comic recreation of that amazing win (sadly this sequence has survived less well than the rest). Owned by the Prince of Wales (the future King Edward VII), Ambush II was the last Royal horse to win the National. In 2008, to coincide with that year's National, his skeleton was put on display at Liverpool's World Museum.