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Get Inside National Hunt Racing Corporate Hospitality

Aug 11, 2008
National hunt racing originated from hunting animals on horseback as during a hunt horses needed to show various qualities including speed, obedience and the ability to negotiate obstacles. This was turned into an organised race at some point during the 1700s in Ireland where neighbouring towns would pit their horses against each other. It was thought that the respective church steeples of each town were the start and finish lines.

The modern sport of hunt racing was formed in the mid 1800s with races across the UK and the hunt circuit contains some of the most prodigious racetracks in the world. The premier annual meeting of the circuit is the Cheltenham Festival which has origins dating back to the early 1800s although people were not as receptive as they are to the monumental meet.

A local preacher managed to work up his congregation to the point where they disrupted the meetings and eventually burned down the grandstand. This was not to stop the racing enthusiasts however as they moved to a different location in Cheltenham leading up to the first official Cheltenham Festival in 1902. In 1942 the Gold Cup victory by the horse Golden Miller marked the beginning of the Emerald Isles serious participation in Cheltenham.

Many of the top horses and trainers still hail from Ireland where hunt racing is even more popular than flat racing. The race has snowballed into one of the biggest events in the annual sporting calendar and boasts 26 races over 4 days with roughly 500 of the nations top horses competing for 3 million GBP in prize money. An estimated 500 million GBP will be bet on the 4 days of racing.

Hand in hand with the obvious financial incentive comes the prestige of winning at the most esteemed event on the hunt calendar which draws an estimated 300 000 people. There is an ever growing demographic of race enthusiasts attending the festival each year, from the rich and famous to the curious tourist, the national hunt calendar caters for all tastes.

A popular way to enjoy any race on the national hunt circuit is through corporate hospitality. This is available directly from the festival organisers themselves or through third parties such as event management companies. The hospitality packages are all inclusive prices, usually per day where groups of colleagues or friends can enjoy a fully catered day out with preferential seats.

The prices of each corporate package will differ greatly depending on the meeting, the particular race day, specifics of the package and how many are in the group. They are especially popular with companies looking to impress or reward clients or even as internal social events. Guests can enjoy private dining with excellent views of the finish line, along with refreshments all day and betting facilities.

Other features can include access to the members lawn, private reserved dining, 4 course pre-selected menu with wine, complimentary bar, live music throughout the day, guest speakers and reserved car parking.
About the Author
Shaun Parker is a leading event manager in the national hunt racing circuit national hunt racing specialising in corporate hospitality.
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