The National Hunt Racing calendar includes the yearly Cheltenham Festival in the U.K. The prize money for the race is high; the only race that awards more prize money is the Grand National. At this festival, Irish and British trained horses race to what amounts to a rare extent.
The festival is held every March in Cheltenham, Glouchester at the Cheltenham racecourse. Irish visitors flock to this race because it is generally held around St. Patrick’s Day.
Grade one races such as the Queen Mother Champion Chase and World Hurdle, Champion Hurdle and Cheltenham Gold Cup are held over four days during the festival. At this festival gambling is a major activity; hundreds of millions of pounds are bet by festival attendees. One of the things the festival is known for is its atmosphere, which includes something referred to as the “Cheltenham roar.” This is the noise that the crowd makes when the first race of the festival begins.
As a Grade 1 National Hunt Race, the Cheltenham Gold Cup takes place at the New Course in the city’s racetrack. Horses must jump 22 fences and run 3 miles, 2 ½ furlongs.
For the first time in more than 40 years, in 2015, Coneygree, a novice in the business, won after having previously only experienced 3 starts over fences.