Par For The Course – Things you may not know about the Cheltenham horse racing festival

The annual Cheltenham horse racing event is one of the most eagerly awaited of the year, and one which is attended by people from across the globe. As the 2022 festival gets underway, we’re going to share with you a few surprising facts about this national institution:

Backing a winner

The Brits enjoy a flutter on the Gee Gees and, millions of them, place bets on horse racing at Cheltenham every year. While most enjoy modest wins at best, in 2019, prize money for the festival reached a record £4,590.000 – the largest of any festival in the world.

A good year for Ruby

Cheltenham has been attended by some of the best jockeys in the world – not least of which is Ruby Walsh, who netted a staggering seven wins in one year in 2016.

Wood you believe it

The hurdles and fences at the Cheltenham Festival are constructed from birch – and 5000 bundles of birch are used each season.

On track for the races

Over the four days of the festival, 134,600 people make their way through Cheltenham Spa train station – with 36,500 vehicles being parked during the event.

People power

The average attendance at the Cheltenham Festival is 65,000 people across the four days of the event.

Time to chill

Hospitality at the festival includes 15 restaurants, 240 private boxes, 30 temporary kitchens and 74 mobile catering units.

Leaf it out

It’s no secret that British folk love their tea and, over the four days of the Cheltenham Festival, a whopping, 9000 gallons of tea and coffee are drunk.

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Food for thought

Cheltenham’s festival goers are fed by 350 chefs who serve up 45,000 bread rolls, nine tons of potatoes, five tons of smoked and fresh salmon and five tons of cheese during the event.

And they’re off…

This year’s Cheltenham Festival will be particularly welcomed after the event was halted for the last two years due to the COVID-19 pandemic. As the event gets underway on Tuesday, bookies will have their work cut out for them as they deal with millions of bets until the finish line on Friday. Take a closer look at totalizators, in which you can bet on a couple of races.

About the author: Cory Weinberg

"Student. Subtly charming organizer. Certified music advocate. Writer. Lifelong troublemaker. Twitter lover."

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