Aintree Commissions McCain Portrait Sculpture

Sculptor Nigel Boonham will produce the artistic work.

Aintree Racecourse in England has commissioned a bronze portrait bust of the four-time Grand National winning trainer, Donald ”Ginger” McCain, who died at the age of 80 last September.

McCain’s achievements and long association with the racecourse, which helped make Red Rum and McCain household names, will be commemorated by a one-and-a-half times life-size bust that will have its permanent home at the Liverpool racecourse. The bust will be produced by British sculptor Nigel Boonham and plans are under way to locate the commission on the mound overlooking the parade ring.

Boonham’s previous works include distinguished bronze portraits of Lord Runcie (Archbishop of Canterbury), Archbishop Daniel Mannix (Archbishop of Melbourne), Peter Jonas ,and Joseph Needham. His best-known portrait, of Diana, Princess of Wales, was unveiled by the Princess herself at the National Hospital of Neurology in London in 1991. The Ginger McCain portrait will be Boonham’s first of a horse racing personality. His works of other sporting personalities include Wimbledon champion John McEnroe and Sebastian Coe.

The plan is for the McCain family to unvel the bust at the 2012 John Smith’s Grand National meeting, which starts with Liverpool Day April 12.

 “When Aintree discussed the idea with us, we were thrilled that they had chosen to commemorate dad’s achievements with a bronze portrait bust,” Donald McCain said. “It is fitting that the bust will be sited at Aintree, a place he held dear to his heart. We now look forward to seeing Nigel’s work in progress and I am sure we will feel great pride in unveiling the bust for all to see at the Grand National meeting in April.”

Julian Thick, Aintree Racecourse’s managing director, said: “Ginger’s larger-than-life personality and Red Rum’s domination of the Grand National in the seventies, with three wins and two second places, re-ignited the nation’s love of the Grand National and it is for that reason we decided a fitting tribute to his achievements should be marked with bronze bust. We look forward to the bust becoming a permanent fixture for visitors to enjoy (for) many years to come.”