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Sports Then and Now



Cheltenham Festival Has Rich Tradition 1

Posted on September 03, 2017 by John Harris

CheltenhamFirst held in 1860 as the National Hunt Chase, the Cheltenham Festival is a top-rated horse racing competition on the United Kingdom calendar with prize money second only to the Grand National.

Often held around St. Patrick’s Day and popular with Irish visitors, the festival features several Grade 1 races and is one of the few times during the year where many of the top British and Irish trained horses compete. The festival also includes one of the two biggest Hunter Chases of the season, the Foxhunters’, which is run on the Friday of the event.

The Cheltenham Festival is especially noted for its atmosphere, most notably the “Cheltenham roar”, which refers to the enormous noise generated by the crowd as the starter raises the tape for the first race of the festival.

The Stayers Hurdle, which was first ran in 1912, is the oldest race in the festival that is currently a championship race. The Gold Cup, established in 1924, was originally a supporting race for the County Hurdle, which was the main event of the first day, but that eventually changed as it became a championship race. The Champion Hurdle started in 1927 and the Queen Mother Champion Chase in 1959, were both championship races from the time they were introduced. Read the rest of this entry →

  • Vintage Athlete of the Month

    • Larry “The Zonk” Csonka
      January 29, 2022 | 4:43 pm
      Larry Csonka

      The Sports Then and Now Vintage Athlete of the Month was the leader of a running attack that was the cornerstone of two Super Bowl Championship teams, including the only undefeated squad in NFL history.

      With his distinctive headgear and a body suited for punishing contact, Larry Csonka looked the part of a fullback and for 11 NFL seasons delivered and took regular punishment on his way to the Hall of Fame.

      Following in the great tradition of Jim Brown, Ernie Davis, Jim Nance and Floyd Little, Csonka earned All-American honors at Syracuse while rushing for 2,934 yards.  He began earning a name for himself as the Most Valuable Player of the East–West Shrine Game, the Hula Bowl, and the College All-Star Game.

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