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Cheltenham Racecourse

THE HISTORY OF CHELTENHAM RACECOURSE... 


The first organised Flat race meeting in Cheltenham took place in 1815 on Nottingham Hill, with the first races on Cleeve Hill in August 1818. Racing’s popularity soared over the next decade with crowds of 30,000 visiting the racecourse for its annual two day July meeting featuring the Gold Cup, a 3m flat race.

 

In 1829, Cheltenham’s Parish Priest, Reverend Francis Close, preached the evils of horseracing and aroused such strong feeling amongst his congregation that the race meeting in 1830 was disrupted. Before the following year’s meeting, the grandstand was burnt to the ground!

 

To overcome this violent opposition the racecourse was moved to Prestbury Park, its current venue, in 1831. Steeplechasing became established in nearby Andoversford from 1834 and moved to the present course in 1898.

 

In 1964, Racecourse Holdings Trust (now Jockey Club Racecourses) was formed to secure the future of Cheltenham. The group now owns 14 racecourses - a combination of jump, flat and dual-purpose courses - as well as training grounds in Newmarket, Lambourn and Epsom and the National Stud. The Jockey Club Group reinvest all profits back into British racing to ensure its continued success.


The stands changed little between the 1930s and 1950s when the National Hunt Steeplechase course ran behind the back of the stands.

 

1924 saw the introduction of The Gold Cup, read all about the history of the Gold Cup and our winners

Hall Of Fame

Read all about the history of the Cheltenham Gold Cup, dating back to 1924. In 2018, we welcomed home the original Gold Cup. 

Find Out More

the return of the original gold cup

 

Cheltenham Racecourse is delighted to announce it has been reunited with the original Cheltenham Gold Cup trophy, dating back to 1924, and will present it to the winner of the 2019 Magners Cheltenham Gold Cup. 

 

CHE-1924-GOLD-CUP.jpg

 

First awarded 94 years ago to five-year-old Red Splash, owned by Major Humphrey Wyndham, trained by Fred Withington and ridden by Dick Rees, it will now be re-introduced as a perpetual trophy, presented to the winning connections of next year's race on Friday, March 15, 2019 and in future years.

 

Cheltenham Racecourse was approached by the previous owner of the original Cheltenham Gold Cup; it has been in a bank vault since the 1970s. It is the first time that the trophy for the Cheltenham Gold Cup has changed since 1972. 

The 1924 Cheltenham Gold Cup weighs 644 grams of nine carat gold and is plated in 18 carat gold to give it a rich colour and will now be mounted on a plinth bearing the names of every horse to have ever won the great chase. 

Commissioned and purchased from Simmons of Cheltenham, the 1924 trophy was created by S Blanckensee & Son Ltd of Birmingham. Its whereabouts over past decades are unclear, but it has been in private ownership in recent times.


"To bring the first ever Cheltenham Gold Cup trophy back to its rightful home and to use is as the perpetual trophy moving forwards really demonstrates the rich history and heritage of the Cheltenham Gold Cup. We are also delighted that it will now carry the names of all our previous winners on the plinth. It's a beautiful, decorative trophy, dating back almost 100 years and it will sit perfectly on the winner's podium come March next year, when we crown the next Magners Cheltenham Gold Cup champion."

Ian Renton, Regional Director, Cheltenham & The South West, The Jockey Club


The 2019 winning owner will receive a replica of the original Cheltenham Gold Cup to keep, with the Cheltenham Gold Cup remaining at Cheltenham over the year.

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