Organised horse races have been taking place at Cheltenham since all the way back in 1815, with the course being relocated to its current site at Prestbury Park in 1831.
Today the park incorporates two separate courses which run alongside each other: The Old Course and The New Course, and has the capacity to host 67,500 spectators. The Old Course is used for the majority of races on the first two days of the Cheltenham Festival, while days three and four are run on The New Course.
There is also a third course on the grounds – The Cross Country Course – which is only used for the Cross Country Chase on Day 2 of the Festival. There are a total of 24 fences on each of the New and Old courses, a mixture of plain fences, ditches and water jumps, all of which are at least four and a half feet high.
The longest race at the Cheltenham Festival is the National Hunt Chase, which covers 3 miles and 6 furlongs. Of course, the centre-piece of the Festival is the Gold Cup, and this race covers 3 miles 2 and a half furlongs and includes 22 fences.
With 28 races taking place over the four days of the event, expect plenty of action and excitement during the world’s most famous festival of racing.