LIVERPOOL, England (AP) - Organizers of the Grand National steeplechase will make modifications to fence design, landing areas and course irrigation following a review of the world's most grueling jumps race after the death of two horses this year.
However, there will be no reduction in the size of the 40-horse field. Also, Bechers Brook - the much-feared fence that has been the cause of a number of horse casualties - will remain with the same drop and dimensions.
John Baker, who runs the Aintree course where the race is staged, says ``balancing the Grand National's enduring appeal while working to reduce risk in the race is a delicate but important balance to strike.''
Ten horses have died in the past 12 years in the National, leading to criticism from animal welfare groups.