Cheltenham Racecourse continues preparing for the National Hunt Festival on Tuesday, March 13, Wednesday, March 14 and Thursday, March 15. This follows the joint announcement from the British Horseracing Board and the Jockey Club today, Tuesday, February 27, that racing has been temporarily suspended from Wednesday, February 28, up to and including Tuesday, March 6, following the foot and mouth outbreak.

Cheltenham Racecourse remains hopeful that racing will resume at other racecourses from Wednesday, March 7, with the three-day Festival happening the following week.

Measures have already been taken to disinfect all vehicles coming onto the racecourse.

Cheltenham Racecourse will naturally be complying with all the precautionary measures which the BHB and Jockey Club have announced today.

There will be wheel-disinfecting baths for vehicles arriving at the National Hunt Festival and disinfection of racegoers’ footwear.

Cheltenham Racecourse will be liaising with Irish trainers and is considering the hire of aircraft to make sure the leading Irish contenders get to the Festival and then return to their training yards.

All these measures minimise the already extremely low risk of racehorses or the vehicles carrying them spreading foot and mouth disease.

Edward Gillespie, the Managing Director of Cheltenham Racecourse, said today: ‘We are continuing to plan arrangements for the National Hunt Festival in March and the sensible measures announced today by the British Horseracing Board and the Jockey Club are welcome.

‘We shall continue to take all the expert advice necessary to ensure that we maximise the chances of the meeting going ahead as scheduled.’

For more information, please contact Edward Gillespie or Simon Claisse, the Clerk of the Course, on 01242 513014.

Please note that the open morning that Cheltenham has sent out invites for at Nicky Henderson’s yard in Lambourn on Friday morning, March 2, has been cancelled.