What is the Cheltenham Festival?

The Cheltenham Festival is one of the biggest, if not the biggest meeting in the National Hunt racing calendar in the United Kingdom.

The festival is held every year in March (10th-13th) at the Cheltenham Racecourse in Cheltenham, Gloucestershire. Over the four days of the festival, 28 races take place that features only the best horses and jockeys from around the country. Out of the 28 races that take place during the week, there are several Grade 1 races which attract a huge amount of attention from viewers and gamblers, which include the Cheltenham Gold Cup, Champion Hurdle, Queen Mother Champion Chase and Stayers’ Hurdle. Each of the races that take place the Cheltenham Festival is classed as ‘Jump Races’ or ‘Steeplechases’ which requires the competitors to jump various fences and clear ditch obstacles.

The most revered race that takes place during the week of Cheltenham Festival is by far the Cheltenham Gold Cup. The Gold Cup is run over a distance of 3 miles and 2 ½ furlongs, featuring 22 fences that must be jumped. Out of all the races that take place during the Cheltenham Festival, the Gold Cup is the most lucrative with the winning horse taking a cash prize of £350,000.

The Cheltenham Festival originated from what was known as the National Hunt Chase which was formed in 1860, from 1960 until 1910 this event was held in several locations while the new course at Prestbury Park (Cheltenham) was being finished. Since 1911, Cheltenham Racecourse has been the location of this incredible sporting event. The oldest race that remains a huge part of the festival is the Stayers’ Hurdle, which contains the smallest cash prize of all the major Grade 1 races where the winner takes a £180,000 prize. Those attending the Cheltenham Festival will not be disappointed with their decision, with it’s offering one of the best racing experiences available across the United Country.

One of the highlights of the Cheltenham Festival is the remarkable atmosphere that comes with it, which is often referred to as the ‘Cheltenham Roar’ which comes after the tape is cut for the first race of the festival. Check out some of the Cheltenham racing results.