Here are some Facts & Figures about The International Hurdle, which is run at The International Meeting, Cheltenham in early December each year:
* The International Hurdle was first run in 1963, when Scottish Memories was successful.
* Up until 1977, the prestigious contest was run as the Cheltenham Trial Hurdle. It was renamed in 1977 to reflect Bula’s successes at Cheltenham, including the Champion Hurdle in 1971 and 1972. He also won a division of the Supreme Novices’ Hurdle in 1970 and finished third in the 1975 Cheltenham Gold Cup. Boylesports backed the renamed International between 2006 and 2009, while another bookmaker, Stan James, took over the sponsorship in 2010 as part of their ‘Road To Cheltenham’.
* Bula won the race subsequently named in his honour in 1972, the same year as his second Champion Hurdle victory.
* Seven horses in total have won both the International and the Champion Hurdle: Magic Court (1964, 1964), Salmon Spray (1965, 1966), Bula (1972, 1972), Comedy Of Errors (1973, 1974, 1973, 1975), Sea Pigeon (1975, 1980, 1981), Rooster Booster (2002, 2003), Binocular (2008, 2010).
* Salmon Spray, Comedy Of Errors (1974 success) and Rooster Booster are the three horses to win the two contests in the same season.
* The shortest-priced winner was Comedy Of Errors (1973) at 2/5.
* Solway Sands (1968) provided the biggest shock in the history of the contest when winning at 33/1.
* Bird’s Nest (1977, 1978, 1980), Relkeel (1997, 1998 and 1999) and The New One (2013, 2014, 2016) were each triumphant three times.
* Nicky Henderson is the most successful trainer in the race’s history. His winners were Geos (2000), Binocular (2008), Grandouet (2011), My Tent Or Yours (2017), Brain Power (2018) and Call Me Lord (2019).
* Richard Johnson is the winning-most jockey, recording six victories. Relkeel (1997 & 1999), Rooster Booster (2002), Detroit City (2006), Menorah (2010) and The New One (2016).
* The largest field was in 1977 when 10 runners went to post, while only four horses lined up in 1966, 1974, 2001 and 2006.
Allison is the Publisher of Eclipse Magazine. She loves going to the Races and is learning to bet (despite being officially the worst bettor in the History of the Universe), there’s a lot more to learn…