Cheltenham Festival Called Off For This Year

The British Horseracing Board ruled Sunday that the rescheduled Cheltenham Festival cannot take place April 17-19 because the Gloucestershire, England course falls within a foot and mouth infected area.

According to Racenews, a foot and mouth outbreak has been confirmed at Woolstone, about five miles from the course.

"We are bitterly disappointed for everyone concerned that the 2001 Cheltenham Festival has had to be canceled," Cheltenham Racecourse managing director Edward Gillespie said. "There will be no 2001 Cheltenham Festival and we now look forward to the 2002 renewal."

Gillespie urged support for the three-day Martell Grand National meeting at Aintree which starts on Thursday.

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