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.
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 recently 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.
The trophy is to be officially unveiled by Champion Jockey and Gold Cup winning rider Richard Johnson at the McCoys tonight (Friday, September 28).
Ian Renton, Regional Director, Cheltenham & The South West, The Jockey Club, said: "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."
Jason Ash, Chief Marketing Officer at C&C Group plc, owners of Magners Cider added: "As we look forward with huge anticipation to our first Festival as Presenting Partner and Naming Partner of the showpiece race at The Festival; the Magners Cheltenham Gold Cup, we share The Jockey Club's excitement that the original Cheltenham Gold Cup will be presented to the connections of next year's winner.
"We have no doubt that the history, heritage and prestige of this great race will be enhanced through the re-introduction of this beautiful cup as originally presented back in 1924.
"On behalf of millions of National Hunt fans in the UK and Ireland and beyond who are already turning their thoughts to next year's Festival, we would like to congratulate The Jockey Club on bringing the original Cheltenham Gold Cup back home to Cheltenham."
The 2019 Magners Cheltenham Gold is staged on Friday, March 15, Gold Cup Day, the fourth and final day of The Festival™ Presented By Magners.
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.