Cheltenham Festival

The Cheltenham Festival, the most prestigious National Hunt horse racing event of the year, starts today, despite the severe weather.

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Warming up in the snow at Cheltenham

Horses from Henry de Bromhead's stable exercise on the gallops
Horses from Henry de Bromhead's stable exercise on the gallops Credit: David Davies/PA Wire

With the first race being delayed by only 5 minutes, horses at Cheltenham have started warming up despite the snow.

Thousands of spectators are expected for the Gold Cup week.

Read: Snow causes travel disruption.

Sizing Australia (left) and Sizing Europe make their way to the gallops
Sizing Australia (left) and Sizing Europe make their way to the gallops Credit: David Davies/PA Wire

The Cheltenham Festival will open later amid warnings for race goers to leave extra time due to the poor weather.

Read: Cheltenham Festival gets the go-ahead.

National

Cheltenham Festival: Frosty start and bitterly cold

by - ITV Weather Presenter
The whole race track has been covered to stop the ground from freezing Credit: Tim Ireland/PA Wire/Press Association Images

It will be a frosty start at Cheltenham, with the best of the brighter skies early on in the day.

But it is a measly 3c, meaning it will feel bitterly cold in the wind chill.

Get the latest news on the Cheltenham Festival at ITV News Westcountry

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Cheltenham Festival to begin despite cold snap

Racetrack covered to protect the ground from frost Credit: PA

Organisers of the Cheltenham Festival say they're prepared for races to start today, despite the cold weather.

The whole track had to be covered to stop the ground from freezing, as a cold weather front sent recent temperatures tumbling below zero.

During last year's festival, five horses died.

The four day festival will attract an estimated 200,000 people.

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