Cheltenham Festival Trivia
The spectacle and tradition of the Cheltenham Festival is part of what makes this event such an important part of the National Hunt calendar. Over a hundred years Cheltenham Festival trivia includes an array of interesting facts and feats.
- The Cheltenham Festival attracts the biggest crowds of any event in National Hunt racing. On average 50,000 people pass the Cheltenham Racecourse turnstiles on every day of the four-day festival.
- Part of this massive crowd is made up of Irish racing fans who cross the Irish Sea to support the best Irish horses, jockeys and trainers. In all it is estimated that 10,000 Irish horse racing fans travel to Cheltenham Racecourse every year.
- With the event often coinciding with St Patrick’s Day, a fun piece of Cheltenham Festival trivia is that over 200,000 pints of Guinness are consumed at each Cheltenham Festival.
- The 2006 Cheltenham Festival saw Irish fans get their money’s worth when Irish horses ran first, second and third placed in the Cheltenham Gold Cup.
- The Cheltenham Festival betting markets are the biggest for any race meeting of the year, with punters laying down over £150 million in bets throughout each festival.
- The Cheltenham Festival has only been cancelled once since the end of the Second World War. In 2001 the government took the step of cancelling the entire festival in response to a massive foot-and-mouth disease outbreak. The cancellation of the festival cost the local economy over £50 million.
- The Cheltenham Racecourse has been modified in recent years to make the race safer for horses and jockeys. Races are now restricted to fewer runners and the severity of the fences has been downgraded. This does not make the race any less exciting or challenging as the undulating track and steep finish are enough to tax any horse and rider.
- The Cheltenham Gold Cup boasts the biggest prize fund of any race at the Cheltenham Festival with £491,850 shared amongst the top three horses. The next richest race at the Cheltenham Festival is the Champion Hurdle with a prize fund of £370,000.