The Cheltenham Festival is the pinnacle of the National Hunt season. It is the meeting to which all owners, trainers and jockeys aspire, drawing on the best horses from Britain and Ireland to compete over 4 days of fierce rivalry and to great acclaim.
The Festival was first staged in 1911 with Red Splash winning the first Cheltenham Gold Cup in 1924, which was worth £685 to the winner This compares to the £327,000 Don Cossack took home when he prevailed in 2016!
The Festival was extended to 4 days in 2005 and now well over 200,000 people attend betting over £500,000,000, drinking over 20,000 bottles of champagne and 220,000 pints of Guinness whilst cheering home the champions of their sport.
Map of the Racecourse
Tuesday 14th March 2017 – Champion Day
The first day of The Cheltenham Festival features the most important hurdle race of the jumps season, the Stan James Champion Hurdle Challenge Trophy.
Wednesday 15th March 2017 – Ladies Day
The feature race on Ladies Day is the The Betway Queen Mother Champion Steeple Chase won in imposing fashion in 2016 by the mighty Sprinter Sacre.
Thursday 16th March 2017 – St Patrick’s Thursday
St Patrick’s Day is celebrated at Cheltenham Festival with two fantastic feature races, The Ryanair Steeple Chase and The Ryanair World Hurdle.
Friday 17th March 2017 – Gold Cup Day
The final day of the Festival features the biggest race of the week, The Timico Cheltenham Gold Cup Steeple Chase, won last year by Don Cossack, trained by Gordon Elliot and ridden to victory by Bryan Cooper.
Travelling by car:
Cheltenham, Gloucestershire, GL50 4SH. The parking scheme at Cheltenham Festival is colour coded. Your car park label will have directions on the back. When you get close to Cheltenham Racecourse you will see yellow temporary signs which are put in place for the racing. You should follow these and not your Satnav. Traffic during the Festival can build up at peak times, therefore we would advise that you arrive early to avoid delays. Your parking zone will match your car parking label colour.
Travelling by train:
Cheltenham Spa train station is a 10 minute taxi ride from the racecourse. Trains from London to Cheltenham Spa take about two hours whilst trains from Bristol take only 35 minutes. Stagecoach will operate a special dedicated shuttle bus service from the Railway Station to inside the Course. During the Festival there is also the unique opportunity to arrive directly at the back of the main Grandstand at Cheltenham on an impressive steam train. The train travels from Toddington Railway Station, allowing you to arrive in style and miss all the traffic! The 35-minute journey will take you through the beautiful countryside of the Cotwolds, Malverns and Vale of Evesham. Allocated seating is provided on the train and there is a full cash bar service also available.
Travelling by helicopter:
There is a helipad at the racecourse. We can liaise with the racecourse on your behalf should you wish to fly in or can help book helicopters if required.
Your badges, tickets and car parking passes will be sent out to you with a full itinerary approximately two weeks before the Festival. We can deliver via courier or Royal Mail Special Delivery. If you would like your tickets delivered overseas, please give us plenty of warning and leave time for the delivery to arrive before you set off.
There is no official dress code at Cheltenham – it is recommended that you dress for the weather. Gentlemen would normally wear a jacket and tie in the Village and hospitality areas.
Shopping at The Festival
There is a large shopping village at The Festival with plenty of shops selling a huge number of different goods. There is something for everyone including racing fashion both men, women and children, luxury home accessories, furniture, artwork and much more!