Today marks the first day of this years’ Cheltenham Gold Cup races!
Over 250,000 people are expected to visit our usually quiet hometown for this annual event, including members of the royal family. And as we ready ourselves for the thrilling and action-packed days ahead, we thought we would research 11 fascinating facts about the festival:
- The first Cheltenham Gold Cup was held in 1819, but as a three-mile race with no jumps.
- The modern version with jumps was first ran in 1924 with the winner taking home £685.
- This year, for the first time in history, prize money will exceed £4.5 million.
- During the Gold Cup race on Friday 15th March 2019, 22 fences will be jumped.
- Outside of two world wars, in its history, the Gold Cup has only been cancelled three times! The first was due to a frozen course in 1931, the second happened because of flooding in 1937 and in 2001 the entire Cheltenham Festival was cancelled due to a local outbreak of foot-and-mouth disease.
- The prize money for this years’ Gold cup race is £625,000.
- Over 8,000 gallons of tea and coffee will be consumed during the 4 day festival.
- On average, 65,000 people will attend the races on each of the four days.
- The economic impact of The Festival each year for Gloucestershire is 100,000,000 pounds sterling.
- The 1924 Gold Cup trophy, acquired by Cheltenham Racecourse in 2018 after being kept in a bank vault for years, will be presented to the winning connections of the 2019 Magners Cheltenham Gold Cup.
- Known as The Home of Jump Racing, Cheltenham Racecourse is the venue for the world's pre-eminent Jump meeting.
Have you ever attended Cheltenham races or any others around the country? Or will be watching on the television? Let us know in the comments…