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Hoses of the Holy in the Parallel Universe

March 17, 2006

They Shoot Horses, Don't They?

Earlier in the week BBC Radio Five Live's John Inverdale regaled us with some statistics provided by the organisers of this year's Cheltenham National Hunt Racing Festival.

  • Around a quarter of a million people were expected at this year's Cheltenham Festival.

  • Prize money totalled £2.87million

  • The official estimate of total on-course betting turnover during The Festival is £40 million - an average of over £2 million per race.

  • Off course, the industry estimate for betting turnover through the four days of The Festival is over £400m

  • In 2005, nearly £1million was dispensed by the 14 cashpoint machines around the racecourse.

  • 468 horses ran at the 2005 Festival, accompanied by circa 80 jockeys. Over 500 were expected for 2006.
Here's another statistic. In the first three days of the Festival, seven horses died.

Five of the seven died on one day, yesterday.

Three of the five died in one race, the fifth race on Thursday's card.

Cheltenham racecourse managing director, on Five Live this morning, denied the accusation that there have been too many horses entered in some races.

On the BBC web site he is quoted thus: "We have had a large entry for many races this season and I think that is a factor."

Here's another quote: "Money doesn't talk, it swears."

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