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Cheltenham Festival 2017: Hats, hurdles, and other highlights

Published 1633 GMT (0033 HKT) March 15, 2017
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The annual Cheltenham Festival is one of Britain's most popular racing events. Alan Crowhurst/Getty Images Europe/Getty Images
Tucked away in a rural corner of West England, Cheltenham hosts four main races: the Gold Cup, the Champion Hurdle, the Queen Mother Champion Chase and the World Hurdle. Alan Crowhurst/Getty Images Europe/Getty Images
The four-day long competition runs from March 14-17 and coincides with St. Patrick's Day, a national holiday in Ireland. Alan Crowhurst/Getty Images Europe/Getty Images
There was a full house at Cheltenham racecourse on day one of the festival. In 2015, almost 250,000 attended across the four days of racing. Alan Crowhurst/Getty Images Europe/Getty Images
The second day of racing marks Ladies' Day, where women traditionally come dressed in elaborate hats. Alan Crowhurst/Getty Images Europe/Getty Images
A racegoer dressing to impress at this year's festival. Alan Crowhurst/Getty Images Europe/Getty Images
Crowds of 65,000 each day are anticipated at the festival. Alan Crowhurst/Getty Images Europe/Getty Images
Runners turn into the straight in front of a packed Grand Stand for the Ultima Handicap Chase on the first day. The race was won by Un Temps Pour Tout -- the third horse ever to claim back-to-back victories. Alan Crowhurst/Getty Images Europe/Getty Images
With a purse in excess of £4.3M ($5.25) up for grabs, the Festival is popular with jockeys and trainers alike. Alan Crowhurst/Getty Images Europe/Getty Images
With the morning dew still fresh on the turf, riders practice the day before the Festival got underway. Alan Crowhurst/Getty Images Europe/Getty Images
Legendary jockey A.P. McCoy, who has ridden 31 winners and won two Gold Cups at the Festival, unveils a statue of himself at the racecourse this year. Harry Trump/Getty Images Europe/Getty Images