©Healy Racing Photos
The Foxhunters at the Cheltenham Festival will be sponsored by the Country Gentlemen's Association (CGA) for the next five years.
The race will be known as the CGA Foxhunter Steeplechase and in addition the CGA will take ownership of the Hunter Chase 'Road to Cheltenham' by backing a total of 23 Hunter Chases run in Britain in the lead up to the race at The Festival on Friday, March 15, each named the CGA Foxhunter Trial Steeplechase.
The CGA Foxhunter Steeplechase, which was first run in 1904, is also known as 'the Amateurs' Gold Cup', staged as it is just 45 minutes after the Betfred Cheltenham Gold Cup, over the same three mile, two and a half furlong trip, but open to amateur riders only.
Over the years, it has been won by many of the greats of the Hunter Chasing world, including Spartan Missile, Grittar, Elegant Lord and Earthmover, who won the race twice, as a seven year old in 1998 and again aged 13 in 2004.
William Harrison-Allan of The Country Gentleman's Association said: "In 2013 we celebrate the CGA's 120th year and what better way to celebrate than supporting one of the most historic races at The Festival on Gold Cup Day, Jump racing's day of days.
"The CGA Foxhunter Steeplechase is the ideal race for us and the addition of many of the trial races prior to the big day will put our thriving nationwide membership organisation in front of many more people."
Peter McNeile, Director of Sponsorship at Cheltenham, added: "We are extremely pleased to welcome The CGA as a long term sponsor, both at The Festival and during the build-up to Friday, March 15.
"I am sure they will bring energy and style to their backing of the CGA Foxhunter Steeplechase and help us to increase the profile of the race and their brand still further in the years ahead."