The Cheltenham Festival is widely regarded as one of the most important horse racing events in the world and its one of the biggest sports betting events in the UK. Many online gambling sites like newbingosites.net consider this the Holy Grail of online betting. It is the highlight of the month for those who love watching and betting on horse racing and it has been so for more than one and a half centuries. The first race was held back in 1860, with hundreds of horses competing on the famous tracks since then. There were plenty of important events in the 20th century, and the competition continues to attract large audiences since the turn-of-the-century.
The biggest horse race betting event in the UK
Today, the magnitude of a race is frequently determined by its purse and that’s why some new events tend to steal the show. Looking back at the tradition behind the Cheltenham Festival, it is impossible not to be amazed by what was accomplished here. The races were held at several locations over the years, starting at Market Harborough, moving on to the Warwick Racecourse, the Prestbury Park and finally at Cheltenham. Just as the name suggests, the competition is still being held here and it attracts the best horses and jockeys nationwide.
There are not too many horse races that have a history spanning over a century, but 100 years ago, the Cheltenham Festival was already an established competition. The Gold Cup was established in 1924 and three years later the Champion Hurdle was ran for the first time. For many years to come, the competition attracted talented jockeys and amazing horses, while setting another milestone in 1959. This is when the Queen Mother Champion Chase took place for the first time and nearly 2 decades later, Gee Armytage won a race. She became the first female jockey to prevail in a race and won the second the very next day.
The Cheltenham Festival survives controversies
Over the last 160 years of existence, the Cheltenham Festival has had its fair share of problems and controversies. In 2001 it was canceled because of the foot and mouth disease that took over Britain and an important disruption was recorded seven years later, in 2008. It continued to attract more and more people until it set a record for the opening-day crowd in 2019 when nearly 70,000 people attended the event.
Perhaps the biggest concern for those who love the Cheltenham Festival is posed by the high number of injuries and fatalities. The equine welfare concerns are fully justified, as many horses have died over the years, with a peak being recording in 2006. The organizers took swift actions to decrease the number of runners and change the position and size of some of the difficult fences. 2012 was a bad year for horses and the festival in general, with more fatalities recorded. With strong criticism and mounting casualties, the BHA review into equine safety felt inevitable. Recommendations were made so that the Cheltenham Festival would become safer without jeopardizing the existence of this major horse racing event.