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Countryside Day will raise the curtain on the Cheltenham November Meeting

Press Release 20th October 2017 Cheltenham

A fabulous day of racing, countryside attractions and shopping is planned for Cheltenham Countryside Day on 17 November, the opening day of The November Meeting at the world famous racecourse. 

Cheltenham Countryside Day is a firm favourite in the sporting calendar, with a full card of National Hunt racing, complemented by hawks and hounds, ferrets, gun dogs and fabulous shopping. It offers a country fair atmosphere and a great family day out at the races.

Gates open at 10.30 and at 10.45 Stuart Barnes’ dog and duck show will entertain crowds in the Parade Ring. Trail hounds from the Border Hound Trailing Association take to the course at 11. The exciting sport of hound trailing began in the early 19th century when fox hunters wanted to settle who had the fastest hound. A scent of aniseed oil, paraffin and oil is poured onto a 'rag' which the hounds follow round the course.

This is followed by Graham Watkins of Gamegoer Gundogs and his display of working gundogs, hawks and ferrets, simulating a day in the country and showing how the animals work in unison together.

The Leaden Vale Basset Hounds will be on the Members’ Lawn at noon, with commentary by racing journalist and broadcaster Martin Kelly.

The first race is at 12.40 and at approximately 13.25, after the second race, there will be a parade of hounds from the Warwickshire hunt and around 40 staff from local hunts, with commentary from recently retired BBC equestrian presenter Mike Tucker. Racing will then continue. All timings are approximate.

There will be plenty of opportunity to steal a march on your Christmas shopping in the Cheltenham Shopping Village, where 73 stalls will be selling everything from clothing and country sports equipment, to fine art, sculpture and jewellery.

And the day shall be rounded off by after-racing entertainment with The Chip Shop Boys in Final Flight Bar.

Funds will be raised throughout the day for the Countryside Alliance and World Horse Welfare. Alliance members can take advantage of an exclusive members-only area, beside the shopping village where refreshments will be available to purchase, and there will be plenty of seating and a shop and drop area.

Organiser Sara Rutherford says: “This year we shall break with tradition and welcome the Warwickshire hounds in the parade as we remember the long-time organiser of this day, Sarah Holman, who died in June. Since the 1980’s Sarah was the driving force of the Cheltenham Countryside Day. As chairman of the Warwickshire Hunt Club, she hunted with the Warwickshire and was a passionate supporter of the countryside and country sports.  Cheltenham Countryside Day is part of her legacy and the committee is proud to continue this hugely successful day in her memory.” 

Ian Renton, Regional Director for The Jockey Club, South-West, says: “One of the season’s most popular racedays at Cheltenham Racecourse is Countryside Day which marks the beginning of the three-day November Meeting and features six exciting races.   A tradition dating back over 20 years, the unique country fair atmosphere helps raise money for the Countryside Alliance and World Horse Welfare and we are looking forward to another great day to help raise awareness for these important causes.”


Tickets cost from £10 and are available from




For more information please contact the Countryside Alliance press office on

0207 840 9220 or


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