A Royal Affair: Cheltenham Prepares for Queen's Visit

A Royal Affair: Cheltenham Prepares for Queen's Visit
Photo: Associated Press
Her Majesty the Queen.
Edited release from Racenews
Her Majesty The Queen will visit Cheltenham Racecourse for the first time in over 50 years on Thursday, Tote Cheltenham Gold Cup Day. The Queen last visited the Racecourse in 1951 when, as Princess Elizabeth, she attended with her mother.

On arriving at the racecourse, Lord Vestey, chairman of the Steeplechase Company, will welcome Her Majesty to the royal box and accompany The Queen onto the balcony facing the racecourse for the national anthem and the raising of the royal standard.

At 12:20 p.m., in the winner's enclosure, Her Majesty will unveil a sculpture of the Queen Mother by Angela Conner, commissioned by the Duke of Devonshire.

During that ceremony the following will be introduced to Her Majesty The Queen:

-- Martin Molony, rider of Silver Frame, winner of the 1951 Gold Cup when The Queen last attended;
-- Willie Robinson, rider of Mill House, winner of 1963 Gold Cup;
-- Michael Dickinson, trainer of first five in the 1983 Gold Cup;
-- Paddy Mullins, trainer of Dawn Run, the only horse to have won the
Champion Hurdle and Gold Cup;
-- Martin Pipe, champion trainer;
-- Anthony McCoy, champion jockey;
-- Desert Orchid, 1989 Gold Cup winner;
-- Tim Holland-Martin, chairman of the panel of stewards;
-- John Codner, senior veterinary surgeon; and
-- John Disney, senior medical officer

The Queen will also make the presentation to the winning owner, trainer and rider of the 2003 Tote Cheltenham Gold Cup at around 3.30pm.

Edward Gillespie, managing director of Cheltenham Racecourse, said: "We are honored and greatly looking forward to welcoming Her Majesty back to Cheltenham for the first time in over 50 years. The people who will be presented to The Queen have been instrumental in the colorful history of the festival since Her Majesty last attended, and we hope this year's festival will be remembered as a very special occasion."

The bronze statue of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother will be located in a permanent position near to the royal box after the festival.

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