If you love horse racing, then we guarantee that the Cheltenham Festival is the highlight of your racing calendar and this year’s event is set to be even bigger and better than ever before. Secondary only in size to another British favourite, the Grand National, this is the place where the biggest, best, and most well-bred UK and Northern Ireland trained horses come together to race in the magnificent surroundings of the Cheltenham Racecourse.

Taking place between March 14-17th 2017, you can check out the schedule for all the races of the Cheltenham Festival 2017 right here. With an estimated fifth of the British population expected to have a flutter on the race this year, be sure to hedge your bets in good time to avoid on missing out.

The Cheltenham Festival can trace its roots back to 1860, making it an impressive 157 years old. Not only is it steeped in history but it is considered the most extravagant and anticipated date in the sporting calendar attracting more than 230,000 visitors every year. The event stretches over four days and offers spectators a total of 28 races for their viewing pleasure. Choose from having a flutter on the Champion Hurdle, Queen Mother Champion Chase, World Hurdle, and the eponymous Cheltenham Gold Cup. With its race prize money, second only to total offered at the Grand National, it offers visitors a nail-biting and thrilling experience from day one, until the end of day four.

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With over £600 million in bets placed every year, which horse will you put your pretty pennies on at Prestbury Park this year? Previous competitors with ever so ear-catching names include “Hoof Hearted” (say it quickly ten times), “Where The Fox Hat”, and the incredibly awkward for the commentators to pronounce- “Mary Hinge”. But it is not only the fast paced, adrenaline filled, racing that the Cheltenham Festival is famous for-be sure to listen out for the fabled “Cheltenham roar”. This refers to the huge amount of noise that the excited and jubilant crows make at the start of each race.

Aside from all the racing, the Cheltenham Festival is well known for its high standard of hospitality. From Guinness stands, champagne bars, food stalls, haute cuisine, and canapes- visitors are sure to find something to satiate the hunger of even the most ravenous race-goer. But do not worry, if a liquid lunch is more your thing- did you know that on average 220,000 pints of Guinness, 30,000 bottles of wine, and 18,000 bottles of champagne are drunk every year? It is an impressive amount and really must be seen to be believed.

Don’t miss out on this year’s extravaganza- whether you make the trip in person, or are watching at home or with friends The Cheltenham Festival is a wonderful experience for all involved.

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