Contents 1 History 2 Criticisms 3 Races 4 Top jockeys 5 Cheltenham Festival Leading Trainers 6 References 7 External links


History[edit] The Cheltenham Festival originated in 1860 when the National Hunt Chase was first held at Market Harborough. It was initially titled the Grand National Hunt Meeting and took place at several locations since its institution, at the turn of the 20th century it was mostly held at Warwick Racecourse. In 1904 and 1905 it was staged at Cheltenham over a new course established at Prestbury Park in 1902, having previously taken place at Cheltenham in 1861. From 1906 to 1910 it was again held at Warwick but further additions and major improvements made at Cheltenham by Messrs. Pratt and Company, including a new stand (the fourth one), miles of drain to prevent unsuitable racing ground, tar paving in the enclosures and the paddock extended to 35 saddling boxes, proved enough to make the National Hunt Committee decide on that the 1911 meeting was to return at Prestbury Park, Cheltenham where it remained to the present day.[4][5][6] The earliest traceable reference to a "Festival" is in the Warwick Advertiser of 1907.[7] The Stayers Hurdle, first ran in 1912, is the oldest race from the Cheltenham festival that is currently a championship race. The Gold Cup, established in 1924, was originally a supporting race for the County Hurdle which was the main event of the first day but that quickly changed and in the following seasons it became a championship race, however for many years it was still used by the trainers as a preparation race for the Grand National. The Champion Hurdle first ran in 1927 and the Queen Mother Champion Chase in 1959, were both championship races from the time they were introduced unlike the Stayers Hurdle and Gold Cup.[8][9] In 1987, 21-year-old Gee Armytage became the first female jockey to win a race at the festival on 17 March 1987. She won the Kim Muir Challenge Cup, back then held on Tuesdays and backed it with another victory the next day in the Mildmay of Flete Challenge Cup on a horse aptly-named Gee-A.[10] In 2001 the Festival was cancelled due to an outbreak of foot-and-mouth disease in Britain. The meeting had initially been postponed to April, but when a case of the disease was confirmed locally, putting the racecourse within an exclusion zone, all racing had to be called off.[11] In 2008, the second day of the festival was cancelled due to heavy storms. The races scheduled for that day were instead run on the third and final days of the festival.[12] Winners' enclosure at Cheltenham Racecourse. Until 2005 the festival had traditionally been held over the course of three days, but this changed with the introduction of a fourth day, meaning there would be one championship race on each day, climaxing with the Gold Cup on the Friday. To ensure each day would still have six races, five new races were introduced. Two further races have since been added, bringing the total to 26 races overall, with grade one events including the Champion Bumper, Triumph Hurdle, Ryanair Chase, Supreme Novices' Hurdle, Neptune Investment Management Novices' Hurdle, Arkle Challenge Trophy, RSA Chase, Champion Hurdle, World Hurdle, Queen Mother Champion Chase and the feature race, the Gold Cup. The festival also includes one of the two biggest Hunter Chases of the season, the Foxhunters', which is run on the Friday over the same course as the Gold Cup, and is sometimes referred to as the "amateurs' Gold Cup". Unlike Royal Ascot and many other top flat racing events in Britain and Ireland, the Cheltenham Festival does not have a history of attracting many international contenders, though French-trained horses have done well – Baracouda being perhaps the most well-known, having landed the World Hurdle twice. The 2010 Cheltenham Festival had the first ever running of the Ladies Charity Flat Race in aid of Cancer Research UK. The race was contested over 1 mile 5 furlongs, and all 12 amateur jockeys were female. The race was won in a photo-finish in front of a packed Cheltenham grandstand by Dublin-based Orna Madden riding Prince Picasso, finishing just ahead of fellow Irish rider Katie Doyle riding Devil To Pay, with Helen Needham riding on Mr. Wall Street in third. 230,000 racegoers and £250 million is expected to be wagered at the 2014 Cheltenham Festival.[13] Timico was confirmed as the new sponsor of the Cheltenham Gold Cup in December 2015.[14]


Criticisms[edit] For several years there have been concerns about the number of equine injuries and fatalities. In 2006, 11 horses died and in response the racecourse decreased the number of runners in certain races and re-sited one of the more difficult fences. On the opening day of the 2012 festival, three horses had to be euthanised after suffering bone fractures or breaks, including two during the Cross-Country Chase, becoming the second and third equine fatalities in that race since 2000.[15] There were two further equine fatalities during the festival, and some critics claimed races should not have gone ahead due to the firmness of the ground following exceptionally dry weather. The RSPCA suggested that guidelines be reviewed, while the British Horseracing Authority stated that "with over 90,000 runners a year [in British horse racing], some accidents and sadly some injuries are inevitable."[16]


Races[edit] The number and type of races at the Cheltenham Festival has changed dramatically over the years of its existence. In particular, it has grown from a two-day meeting to a four-day meeting. In 2017, there were 28 races as follows: Day Race Obstacles Distance Class Current Sponsor Tuesday Supreme Novices' Hurdle Hurdles 2m 1/2f Grade 1 SkyBet Tuesday Arkle Challenge Trophy Fences 2m Grade 1 Racing Post Tuesday Festival Trophy Handicap Chase Fences 3m 1/2f Grade 3 Ultima Business Solutions Tuesday Champion Hurdle Hurdles 2m 1/2f Grade 1 Unibet Tuesday David Nicholson Mares' Hurdle Hurdles 2m 4f Grade 1 OLBG.com Tuesday National Hunt Challenge Cup Fences 4m Grade 2 – Tuesday Close Brothers Novices' Handicap Chase Fences 2m 4 1/2f Listed Close Brothers Group Wednesday Baring Bingham Novices' Hurdle Hurdles 2m 5f Grade 1 Ballymore Wednesday RSA Chase Fences 3m 1/2f Grade 1 RSA Insurance Group Wednesday Queen Mother Champion Chase Fences 2m Grade 1 Betway Wednesday Coral Cup Hurdles 2m 5f Grade 3 Coral Wednesday Cross Country Chase[A] Cross Country 3m 7f Ungraded Glenfarclas Wednesday Fred Winter Juvenile Novices' Handicap Hurdle Hurdles 2m 1/2f Grade 3 – Wednesday Champion Bumper NHF 2m 1/2f Grade 1 Weatherbys Thursday Golden Miller Novices' Chase Fences 2m 4f Grade 1 Jardine Lloyd Thompson Thursday Pertemps Final Hurdles 3m Listed Pertemps Thursday Festival Trophy Fences 2m 5f Grade 1 Ryanair Thursday Stayers' Hurdle Hurdles 3m Grade 1 Sun Bets Thursday Mildmay of Flete Challenge Cup Fences 2m 5f Grade 3 Brown Advisory / Merriebelle Stable Thursday Fulke Walwyn Kim Muir Challenge Cup Fences 3m 1 1/2f Ungraded – Thursday Dawn Run Mares' Novices' Hurdle Hurdle 2m 1f Grade 2 Trull House Stud Friday Triumph Hurdle Hurdles 2m 1f Grade 1 JCB Friday County Handicap Hurdle Hurdles 2m 1f Grade 3 Randox Health Friday Spa Novices' Hurdle Hurdles 3m Grade 1 Albert Bartlett Friday Cheltenham Gold Cup Fences 3m 2 1/2f Grade 1 Timico Friday Foxhunter Chase Fences 3m 2 1/2f Ungraded St James's Place Friday Martin Pipe Conditional Jockeys' Handicap Hurdle Hurdles 2m 4 1/2f Ungraded – Friday Johnny Henderson Grand Annual Chase Fences 2m 1/2f Grade 3 –


Top jockeys[edit] The winners' enclosure in 2014 The top jockey for the festival is the jockey who wins the most races over the four days. The winners since 1980, with wins in brackets, are:[17][18] 2017 Ruby Walsh (4) 2016 Ruby Walsh (7) 2015 Ruby Walsh (4) 2014 Ruby Walsh (3) 2013 Ruby Walsh (4) 2012 Barry Geraghty (5) 2011 Ruby Walsh (5) 2010 Ruby Walsh (3) 2009 Ruby Walsh (7) 2008 Ruby Walsh (3) 2007 Robert Thornton (4) 2006 Ruby Walsh (3) 2005 Graham Lee (3) 2004 Ruby Walsh (3) 2003 Barry Geraghty (5) 2002 Richard Johnson (2) 2001: Festival cancelled 2000 Mick Fitzgerald (4) 1999 Mick Fitzgerald (4) 1998 Tony McCoy (5) 1997 Tony McCoy (3) 1996 Richard Dunwoody (2) 1995 Norman Williamson (4) 1994 Charlie Swan (3) 1993 Charlie Swan (4) 1992 Jamie Osborne (5) 1991 Peter Scudamore (2) 1990 Richard Dunwoody (2) 1989 Tom Morgan (2) 1988 Simon Sherwood (2) 1987 Peter Scudamore (2) 1986 Peter Scudamore (2) 1985 Steve Smith Eccles (3) 1984 Jonjo O'Neill (2) 1983 Graham Bradley (2) 1982 Jonjo O'Neill (1) 1981 John Francome (3) 1980 Jim Wilson (3)


Cheltenham Festival Leading Trainers[edit] [19][20][21] The leading trainer for the festival is the trainer who trains the most winners in the races over the four days. The winners since 1997, with wins in brackets, are: 2017 Gordon Elliott (6) 2016 Willie Mullins (7) 2015 Willie Mullins (8) 2014 Willie Mullins (4) 2013 Willie Mullins (5) 2012 Nicky Henderson (7) 2011 Willie Mullins (4) 2010 Nicky Henderson (3) 2009 Paul Nicholls (5) 2008 Paul Nicholls (3) 2007 Paul Nicholls (4) 2006 Paul Nicholls (3) 2005 Howard Johnson (3) 2004 Paul Nicholls (4) 2003 Jonjo O'Neill (3) 2002 Martin Pipe (3) 2000 Nicky Henderson (4) 1999 Paul Nicholls (3) 1998 Martin Pipe (4) 1997 Martin Pipe (4)


References[edit] ^ "Going is good for Cheltenham". BBC Sport. 17 March 1998. Retrieved 10 March 2009.  ^ "Cheltenham festival gets underway this afternoon". The Belfast Telegraph. 10 March 2009. Retrieved 10 March 2009.  ^ "When is Cheltenham Festival Ladies Day". The Mirror. 6 Feb 2018. Retrieved 6 Feb 2018.  ^ "1912 Improvemnts and additions at Cheltenham". Gloucester Citizen. 9 December 1912. Retrieved 14 November 2015. (Subscription required.) ^ "1911 National Hunt Steeplechase meeting at Prestbury Park". Cheltenham Chronicle. 11 March 1911. Retrieved 15 November 2015. (Subscription required.) ^ "1913 National Hunt Meeting – a record attendance". Yorkshire Post and Leeds Intelligencer. 13 March 1913. Retrieved 14 November 2015. (Subscription required.) ^ Stevens, Peter, History of the National Hunt Chase 1860–2010. ISBN 978-0-9567250-0-4 ^ "A head victory for Red Splash". Western Morning News. 13 March 1924. Retrieved 14 November 2015. (Subscription required.) ^ "County Hurdle goes to Hednesford". Daily Mail. 12 March 1924. Retrieved 14 November 2015. (Subscription required.) ^ "Geee upsets odds – and men – at the Festival". The Glasgow Herald. 19 March 1987. Retrieved 4 November 2015.  ^ "Cheltenham Festival called off". BBC Sport. 1 April 2001. Retrieved 10 March 2009.  ^ "Cheltenham Festival". BBC Sport. 12 March 2008. Retrieved 10 March 2009.  ^ "Cheltenham Festival: Hurricane Fly heads Champion Hurdle field". BBC Sport. 10 March 2014. Retrieved 11 March 2014.  ^ "Timico unveiled as new Gold Cup sponsor". Racing Post. Retrieved 21 December 2015.  ^ GMT (14 March 2012). "Cheltenham Festival: Two more horses die on second day". BBC. Retrieved 15 August 2012.  ^ Faulkner, Katherine (16 March 2012). "RSPCA fury at carnage of Cheltenham horses as five die in bloodiest opening to festival for six years". Daily Mail. London.  ^ "2015 Top Jockey". Irish Racing. Retrieved 13 March 2015.  ^ "Top Jockeys 2014-1997". Cheltenham. Retrieved 13 March 2015.  ^ "Cheltenham Festival Top Trainers 2004–2013". Eclipse. Archived from the original on 24 February 2015. Retrieved 3 March 2015.  ^ "Cheltenham Festival Top Trainer 2014-1997". Cheltenham Festival. Archived from the original on 21 February 2015. Retrieved 3 March 2015.  ^ "2015 Leading Trainer". Irish Racing. Retrieved 13 March 2015. 


External links[edit] Cheltenham Racecourse Official Site Cheltenham Festival News Cheltenham Festival History v t e Cheltenham Gold Cup 1988 1989 1990 1991 1992 1993 1994 1995 1996 1997 1998 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 Cheltenham Festival Cheltenham Racecourse Retrieved from "https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Cheltenham_Festival&oldid=826931069" Categories: Sports competitions in EnglandSport in CheltenhamHorse racing meetings in Great BritainRecurring sporting events established in 1902Equestrian festivalsFestivals established in 1860Hidden categories: CS1: Julian–Gregorian uncertaintyPages containing links to subscription-only contentEngvarB from June 2017Use dmy dates from June 2017Coordinates on Wikidata


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