A History of England’s most prestigious horse racing event

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Cheltenham Festival

The most definitive race meeting of the National Hunt Season is swiftly approaching, and punters will be eagerly anticipating landing some big winners at Cheltenham Festival. The four-day event is the most prestigious event in the British racing calendar, with some of the biggest prizes up for grabs and some of the finest horses in the business competing for a place in the record books. Here, we take a look back at the history of the world famous event and explore the roots of Cheltenham Festival.

The early days: According to cheltenhamfestival.net, the Festival was originally known as the National Hunt Meeting and was staged at Market Harborough in 1860. It wasn’t until 1911 that Cheltenham became the permanent fixture for the National Hunt Meeting, Prestbury Park being the exact location.

The famous track had held the festival in 1904 and 1905, in fact, but it took a further six years to become established as the home of the National Hunt Meeting. From 1911, the event was known as Cheltenham Festival and has remained that way to this very day, with much owing to Fredrick Cathcart. Cathcart was the Clerk of the Course and Chairman of Cheltenham Racecourse until his death in 1934, with much of his life’s work being based around making Cheltenham what it is today and establishing the Gloucestershire town as the headquarters for National Hunt racing.

 

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About Editor

Rich Nilsen is a 16-time qualifier to the National Horseplayers Championship (NHC), an event he has cashed in four times. He was the first player to finish in the top 10 twice. He cashed on the NHC Tour for 2018 with a 19th overall finish. Rich was also a winner of a $24,000 package into Kentucky Derby Betting Championship I. A former executive with Brisnet.com, Rich is a graduate of the University of Louisville Equine Business Program and is founder of AGameofSkill.com, a site devoted to horse racing education and promotion.

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