History of the Cheltenham Festival

The Cheltenham Festival is among the best horse racing events in the world. The festival also has one of the best stories behind it. The festival has been happening for more than a century. Here is a brief history of the Cheltenham Festival.

When It Began

It all began in 1860. This was when the first National Hunt Chase occurred. It was then known as the Grand National Hunt Meeting. It was held at different locations each year. It mostly took place at the Warwick Racecourse. Cheltenham had hosted the festival in three different years before it started hosting the festival permanently. This happened in 1911 and occurred after Cheltenham conducted a massive improvement of their racecourse and also added to the number of their stands. Cheltenham has been hosting the festival ever since.

The Races

Most races in this competition were initiated in the twentieth century. The Stayers’ Hurdle is the oldest race in this competition. It is more than a century old. It has developed within the years and is now a very important championship race. The Gold Cup race began in 1924. It was then used as the County Hurdle supporting race. This great race was able to move up quickly and soon became a championship race. The Champion Hurdle began in 1927. The Queen Mother Champion Chase began in 1959. Both of these races began as championship races.

Record History

The greatest record in the Cheltenham Festival was recorded in 1987. Gee Armytage was the one making history as she had become the first woman ever to win a competition at the festival. She did this by winning the Kim Muir Challenge Cup and the Mildmay of Flete Challenge Cup.

Recent Changes

The number of festival days was increased from three to four. This led to an increase in the number of races in the festival. There is now a total of 28 races that take place in the festival.