Vincent O'Brien County Handicap Hurdle
|Vincent O'Brien County Handicap Hurdle|
|Grade 3 race|
|Race type||Hurdle race|
|Distance||2m 1f (3,420 metres)|
|Qualification||Five-years-old and up|
|Lac Fontana||Arctic Fire||Montbazon|
The Vincent O'Brien County Handicap Hurdle is a Grade 3 National Hunt hurdle race in Great Britain which is open to horses aged five years or older. It is run on the New Course at Cheltenham over a distance of about 2 miles and 1 furlong (3,420 metres), and during its running there are eight hurdles to be jumped. It is a handicap race, and it is scheduled to take place each year during the Cheltenham Festival in March.
The County Hurdle was established in 1920, and its inaugural winner was Trespasser, ridden by George Duller. Its title now honours Vincent O'Brien, an Irish racehorse trainer who retired in 1994. During his career O'Brien recorded a total of twenty-three victories at the Cheltenham Festival, and his name was added to the title of this event in 1995.
For many years the County Hurdle was traditionally the last race to be run at the Festival. However, a new running order was announced ahead of the 2009 meeting, and it is now the second race on the final day.
Most successful horse since 1946:
- no horse has won this race more than once since 1946
Leading jockey since 1946 (4 wins):
- Ruby Walsh – Sporazene (2004), Desert Quest (2006), American Trilogy (2009), Final Approach (2011)
Leading trainer since 1946 (4 wins):
- Paul Nicholls – Sporazene (2004), Desert Quest (2006), American Trilogy (2009), Lac Fontana (2014)
Winners since 1946
1 The 1947 edition was abandoned because of snow and frost.
2 It was cancelled in 1949 due to frost, and in 1955 due to snow.
3 The race was abandoned in 1975 due to waterlogging, and in 1978 because of snow.
4 The 2001 running was cancelled because of a foot-and-mouth crisis.
- Horseracing in Great Britain
- List of British National Hunt races
- Recurring sporting events established in 1920 – this race is included under its original title, County Hurdle.
- Racing Post:
- pedigreequery.com – Vincent O'Brien County Handicap Hurdle – Cheltenham.
- racenewsonline.co.uk – Racenews Archive (February 21, 2008).
- Ladbrokes Pocket Companion 1990/91. Aesculus Press. 1990. p. 64. ISBN 1-871093-21-X.