Shortly after horseracing became a popular sport, the steeplechase took the world of horse sports by the reins. Telling the history of the dynamic and rather difficult race, A History of Steeple-Chasing details any rules and background information a steeplechase enthusiast would need to know. The steeplechase got its name from the first courses being unmarked. Where today there are physical start and finish lines, the earlier courses started at a designated spot and ended parallel to a church steeple, a common landmark. The race is much like a standard horserace, where a group of horses compete at once and the first to cross the designated finish line wins. In the steeplechase, horses and riders must maintain speed while avoiding or jumping over obstacles like fences or large ditches. While the race has declined in popularity since its creation in the early 19th century, the Grand National is an annual competition that has been held in Liverpool ever year since 1836. The top finishers in this prestigious race split a purse of nearly 1 million pounds--a prize that's worth chasing.