Cheltenham Festival 2024: A Parade of Champions

If there's one thing we can all agree on, it's that horse racing is a thrill like no other. The surge of adrenaline as the gates open, the roar of the crowd, and the pounding of hooves on the track - it's a spectacle that stirs the soul. But this year, at the Cheltenham Festival 2024, the excitement is set to notch up a level with a special parade featuring retrained Gold Cup and Grand National heroes.

The Retraining of Racehorses Parade

On the opening day of the festival, the annual Retraining of Racehorses (RoR) parade set to take place at 12.30 pm, will feature an impressive lineup of 11 horses that have left lasting impressions on the world of racing. Among these equine superstars are Native River, Coneygree, and Pineau De Re. But this event is not just about celebrating their past victories; it's about focusing on their successful transitions into second careers post-racing.

Race Heroes in Their Second Career

Many of these race heroes have gone on to dazzle in their second careers post-racing. Coneygree, the Gold Cup winner of 2015, trained by the late Mark Bradstock, and Native River, who took home the Gold Cup in 2018 under the guidance of Colin Tizzard, are among the participants. Another standout is Pineau De Re, the 2014 Grand National winner who has since found success in eventing and dressage with Lizzie Brunt.

As noted by RoR managing director David Catlow, the parade features a "lovely cross-section of horses". They all hold high honors on the racecourse, but their achievements post-racing also deserve applause. Be it success at high competitive levels or enjoying an active and fulfilling retirement, these horses uphold the dedication shown to aftercare in Great Britain.

Other Parade Participants

Another highlight on the list is Saphir Du Rheu, a Grade One Mildmay Novices’ Chase winner at Aintree under Paul Nicholls, and the double Cheltenham Festival winner Champagne Fever. Four-time Cheltenham Festival runner-up Melon, popular greys Smad Place, Bristol De Mai, and Duc Des Genievres, Balthazar King – who finished second to Pineau De Re in the Grand National, and multiple Grade One-winning chaser Kemboy will also be present in the parade.

Support for Retired Racehorses

The variety of retired racing horse lives shines a light on the care and dedication shown to equine aftercare in the UK. It's noted in the RoR Strategy 2024-2026 that further support and resources are needed to guarantee every retired racehorse finds a substantial second career or retirement.


Spectators can look forward to viewing the parade in the ring before the first race. This display not only provides a chance to catch a glimpse of equine legends but also an opportunity to acknowledge the importance of aftercare and retraining for retired racehorses. So sit back, place your bets, and get ready for an unforgettable week at the Cheltenham Festival 2024. It's sure to be a race week that makes history!

References: RoR Strategy 2024-2026