Community and charity to the fore as the Cheltenham Festival gets underway
Today marks day one of the Cheltenham Festival, again with WellChild as its official charity partner. Today the WellChild walkway will be unveiled in support of the charity, as explained by ITV Racing presenter Ed Chamberlin below.
The charity has announced popular retired racehorse Smad Place as its first equine ambassador to represent the charity in its work with The Festival and The Jockey Club.
Throughout the build up to this year’s Festival, the Jockey Club team have been taking the original 1924 Boodles Cheltenham Gold Cup out into the community for the first time. The trophy has visited Bishop Cleeve School and its 650 students, Hartpury College equestrian students, Officers at Imjin Barracks, Cheltenham Town Football Club, the Mayor and executives at Cheltenham Borough Council, Leckhampton Court Hospice and to Gloucester Rugby, plus a host of local pubs, cafes and restaurants.
The Jockey Club has also run a raffle in support of the British Red Cross Ukraine Appeal, donating 24 pairs of hospitality tickets for Gold Cup day on Friday and all funds raised through entries. The raffle closes at 6pm Tuesday 1 March and fundraising totals will be announced in due course. Jockeys riding on day one wore an armband in a show of solidarity with Ukraine.
Cheltenham’s racecourse’s partnership with Cotswold Riding for the Disabled Centre continues during this year’s Festival with volunteer bucket collections at exit points during the week. Cotswold RDA is based on the racecourse site, just down the hill from the racecourse.