Cheltenham Racing History

The History of Cheltenham Races

Everybody loves a day at the races, even if you are not an avid gambler or horse fanatic the spectacle of a big race day is hard to beat. Britain has a passion for horse racing and it has fully embraced the Sport of Kings.

Some of the best races in the sporting calendar are held in the UK, such as The Grand National, The Oaks, and The Derby. And possibly the greatest of all racecourses is Cheltenham, which is the home of the Gold Cup.

Here at George Regal Transport we regularly take groups to the races with our popular Cheltenham Mini Bus Transfers. Our patrons take advantage of being chauffeur driven to fully enjoy their race day experience.

The fun and excitement of the Cheltenham Gold Cup race meeting is ideal for all manner of groups and not just racing aficionados. Regular parties enjoying Cheltenham, are Stag and Hen, and corporate entertaining, all of which we have successfully catered for.

Racing at Cheltenham

The first flat race that was organized at Nottingham Hill was in 1815, and three years later they were taking place at Cleeve Hill, Cheltenham. Within ten years the popularity of racing at Cheltenham soared attracting crowds of over thirty thousand people to the two-day meeting in July, which now featured a three-mile flat race called the Gold Cup.

The event had to be moved to its present location which is Prestbury Park in 1831, due to the actions of anti-racing protagonist Reverend Francis Close and his supporters. They disrupted the 1830 meeting and even burned down the grandstand.

In 1964 the Jockey Club Racecourses was formed to secure the future of Cheltenham races and have built up the course to be one of the finest in Great Britain. The Jockey Club manages to do this by reinvesting all the profits back into the racecourse to constantly improve conditions.

The History of the Course

Little change to the grandstands was made during the two decades after 1930 when a steeplechase course was actually behind the stands. In 1960 the first Tattersalls Grandstand was built to cope with the ever-growing crowds.

During this time the Weighing Room was situated under the Festival Restaurant and the Winners Enclosure was located above the Parade Ring. The 1960s also saw major developments to the centre of the course which is now a highly popular area to watch the racing.

The 1980s

The impressive Main Grandstand was finally completed in 1979 and was twice extended during the 1980s. Corporate and private hospitality now takes place on the top two levels of the grandstand, and in 1982 a purpose-built Parade Ring, Weighing Room and Hurdlers Hall complex was erected behind the stands with a superb viewing terrace that can accommodate over four thousand race fans.

The 1990s

A new stables complex was added in 1990 which is adjacent to the Hunters Lodge and a staff hotel was built to accommodate one hundred and twenty-four people. In 1993 the now famous Hall of Fame Entrance was completed, and two years later the Cross Country Course was introduced, which is actually used during the Festival.

Then in 1997, the old Tattersalls Grandstand was demolished and was replaced by tiered viewing and includes the Panoramic Restaurant which has spectacular views of the course.

The Millenium

During the Millenium, even more investment took place at Cheltenham and three million pounds was spent in the centre of the course to build the Best Mate Enclosure. This new enclosure offers possibly the best view of the racing.

A further seventeen million pounds was spent adding The Centaur conference and events centre, which is the largest venue of its kind between Birmingham and Bournemouth. Finally, in 2005 the event was extended to four days which is the current format, and in 2015 a forty-five million pound redevelopment was completed making Cheltenham one of the most up-to-date racecourses in the country.

If you are thinking of taking a group trip to Cheltenham for the Gold Cup or for any other event, then contact George Regal Transport and Tours and we will be happy to arrange all your transport needs and requirements.