Cheltenham Festival is a hugely prestigious event and despite the vast amount of prize money there is to be won, a price can not be put on the honour and pride that comes with winning any of the illustrious races. With 28 races taking places in total across the four-day event, there are
plenty of opportunities for jockeys to win, but this is not an easy task as they are up against some of the toughest competition that the sport has to offer.
The most sort-after races that take place in during this festival are the Cheltenham Gold Cup, Champion Hurdle, Queen Mother Champion Chase and Stayers' Hurdle. These events attract the largest crowds and are the most desired races to be won by the jockeys, with huge cash prizes and prestigious awards available.
To be crowned the top jockey of the festival you must be the jockey who wins the most amount of races over the course of the four-day event. The top jockey of the latest Cheltenham Festival in 2019 was Nico de Boinville who achieved three race wins over the course of the festival, including a win at the Queen Mother Champion Chase. Before Nico, Davy Russell rode four winners to be nominated top jockey and won the Cheltenham Gold Cup in 2014.
By far the most successful jockey to have ever graced the Cheltenham Racecourse is none other than Ruby Walsh, which is a name you are sure to have heard no matter if you follow horse racing or not. Not only has Ruby Walsh recorded the most amount of race wins during a single festival with seven to his name in 2016 and 2009, but he has also earnt the title of ‘Top Jockey’ a total of eleven times. Ruby Walsh was named the top jockey for a record four times in a row from 2008 to 2011 and then broke his own record achieving five consecutive top jockey titles from 2013 to 2017. In total the Irish jockey has won a total of 42 races at Cheltenham Festival.