International Hurdle

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Grade 2 race
Location Cheltenham Racecourse
Cheltenham, England
Inaugurated 1963
Race type Hurdle race
Website Cheltenham
Race information
Distance 2m 1f (3,420 metres)
Surface Turf
Track Left-handed
Qualification Four-years-old and up
Purse £130,000 (2015)
1st: £74,035 International Hurdle
Dark blue, royal blue stars, dark blue and red halved sleeves, red cap Pink, light green spots, pink sleeves and cap Emerald green, yellow hoops, white cap
Old Guard Sempre Medici Hargam

The International is a Grade 2 National Hunt hurdle race in Great Britain which is open to horses aged four 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. The race is scheduled to take place each year in December.


The event was established in 1963, and it was originally called the Cheltenham Trial Hurdle. The inaugural running was won by Scottish Memories, and in the following two years it was won by the Champion Hurdle winners Magic Court and Salmon Spray. Its title was changed to the Bula Hurdle in 1977, in honour of Bula, a dual-winner of the Champion Hurdle who was successful in this contest in 1972.

The first triple-winner of the Bula Hurdle was Bird's Nest, whose third victory came in 1980. This feat was matched in the late 1990s by Relkeel, a horse subsequently honoured by the naming of different race on the same card, the Relkeel Hurdle.

The online sportsbook sponsored the event for the first time in 2010. The International Hurdle is the second leg in the Road to Cheltenham, a Stan James sponsored series of top-class hurdles races culminating in the 2011 Champion Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival. The other two races are the Fighting Fifth Hurdle and the Champion Hurdle Trial.

The last horse to win both the International Hurdle and the Champion Hurdle in the same season was Rooster Booster in 2002–03.


Most successful horse (3 wins):

  • Birds Nest1977, 1978, 1980
  • Relkeel – 1997, 1998, 1999

Leading jockey (5 wins):

  • Richard JohnsonRelkeel (1997, 1999), Rooster Booster (2002), Detroit City (2006), Menorah (2010)

Leading trainer (4 wins):

  • Bob TurnellSalmon Spray (1965), Bird's Nest (1977, 1978, 1980)


  • Amateur jockeys indicated by "Mr".
Year Winner Age Jockey Trainer
1963 Scottish Memories 9 C. Finnegan Arthur Thomas
1964 Magic Court 6 Pat McCarron Tommy Robson
1965 Salmon Spray 7 Johnny Haine Bob Turnell
1966 Sempervivum 8 Willie Robinson Fulke Walwyn
1967 no race 1967
1968 Solway Sands 4 Brian Fletcher John McMurchie
1969 Celtic Gold 7 Stan Murphy Arthur Stephenson
1970 Pendil [1] 5 Paul Kelleway Fred Winter
1971 Canasta Lad 5 Jeff King Peter Bailey
1972 Bula 7 Paul Kelleway Fred Winter
1973 Comedy of Errors 6 Bill Smith Fred Rimell
1974 Comedy of Errors 7 Ken White Fred Rimell
1975 Sea Pigeon 5 Jonjo O'Neill Gordon W. Richards
1976 no race 1976
1977 Birds Nest 7 Andrew Turnell Bob Turnell
1978 Birds Nest 8 Andrew Turnell Bob Turnell
1979 Celtic Ryde 4 Martin O'Halloran Peter Cundell
1980 Birds Nest 10 Andrew Turnell Bob Turnell
1981 no race 1981 [2]
1982 Ekbalco 6 Jonjo O'Neill Roger Fisher
1983 Amarach 5 Jimmy Duggan Roger Fisher
1984 Browne's Gazette 6 Mr Ronnie Beggan Monica Dickinson
1985 Corporal Clinger 6 Paul Leach Martin Pipe
1986 Floyd 6 Colin Brown David Elsworth
1987 Pat's Jester 4 Peter Niven Dick Allan
1988 Condor Pan 5 Charlie Swan Jim Bolger
1989 Cruising Altitude 6 Jamie Osborne Oliver Sherwood
1990 no race 1990 [2]
1991 Royal Derbi 6 Declan Murphy Neville Callaghan
1992 Halkopous 6 Adrian Maguire Mark Tompkins
1993 Staunch Friend 5 Declan Murphy Mark Tompkins
1994 Large Action 6 Jamie Osborne Oliver Sherwood
1995 no race 1995 [5]
1996 Large Action 8 Jamie Osborne Oliver Sherwood
1997 Relkeel 8 Richard Johnson David Nicholson
1998 Relkeel 9 Adrian Maguire David Nicholson
1999 Relkeel 10 Richard Johnson Alan King
2000 Geos 5 Mick Fitzgerald Nicky Henderson
2001 Valiramix [3] 5 Tony McCoy Martin Pipe
2002 Rooster Booster 8 Richard Johnson Philip Hobbs
2003 Rigmarole 5 Robert Thornton Paul Nicholls
2004 Back In Front 7 Davy Russell Edward O'Grady
2005 Harchibald 6 Paul Carberry Noel Meade
2006 Detroit City 4 Richard Johnson Philip Hobbs
2007 Osana 5 Paddy Brennan David Pipe
2008 Binocular [4] 4 Tony McCoy Nicky Henderson
2009 Khyber Kim 7 Paddy Brennan Nigel Twiston-Davies
2010 Menorah 5 Richard Johnson Philip Hobbs
2011 Grandouet 4 Barry Geraghty Nicky Henderson
2012 Zarkandar 5 Ruby Walsh Paul Nicholls
2013 The New One 5 Sam Twiston-Davies Nigel Twiston-Davies
2014 The New One 6 Sam Twiston-Davies Nigel Twiston-Davies
2015 Old Guard 4 Sam Twiston-Davies Paul Nicholls

1 Dondieu finished first in 1970, but was relegated to second place after a stewards' inquiry.
2 The race was abandoned in 1981 and 1990 because of snow.
3 The 2001 running took place at Newbury.
4 The 2008 edition was held at Ascot.
5 The race was abandoned in 1995 due to frost.

See also[edit]