What Cheltenham Festival Week is All About

The biggest week on the horseracing calendar is that of the Cheltenham Festival, every year the gate open at around 10:30, massive queues of people enter as they arrive via hundreds of busses, trains and minibuses.

While all eyes are on the outfits, thousands of race attendees clamber off double-decker buses and trains to make it to the yearly racing extravaganza. Some storm through the gates to beat the rush, others sprint straight to the bars and with the recent weather conditions the ladies had no choice but to wear either high boots or thick boats.

Although it’s a creative crowd that are yearly slaves to the entertainment at Cheltenham, the excitement, betting opportunities and just the crowd in general. Several attendees have found other ways to stand out, and these include wearing tight bright red dresses, have plenty of skin exposed, mix darks and brights, and there are the wide variety of unique hats. No matter the distance or the number of hours spend a Cheltenham, one rule that remains in place is the stilettos and high heels, a tradition that stood the test of time.

Cheltenham’s Rich History


Started to host national hunt meeting, Cheltenham was one of several racecourses where meetings took place. As more and more people attended races, race enthusiasts became creative in finding the best place to enjoy the race events from and in 1913 the numbers board became a stand.

Since the 1930’s already, Cheltenham has drawn important people, the smartly dressed, film stars, and celebrities and by 1937 the list of attendees included Baron De Tuyll. Things worked a bit different then, placing bets on horseraces were completely different, it was ages before the convenience of online sports betting.

Black and white photographs of 1938 show how a tote official pays out a win via a portable tote machine. Come rain, shine or even snow, Cheltenham’s yearly race week continued to grow in participating horses and attendees, and the fashion went from long dresses and coats to mini dresses, tight-fitting dresses, different colours and more creative hats.

2019 Cheltenham Festival Dates Confirmed


Every year the large crowd at Cheltenham includes some of the richest and most popular people, and in 2018 the Duchess of Cornwall was spotted at the festival as she attended the Ladies Day, Princess Anne was spotted in the parade ring, and so was Zara Tindall. Celebrities attending race week also included Rod Stewards, Charlotte Hawkins, Thom Evans, Mike Tindall, Warren Gatland, Olivia Attwood, Chris Hudges and Jodie Kidd and with the 2018 festival gone everyone has ample time to prepare for next which starts on Tuesday the 12th of March 2019.

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