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“There’s nothing like it” says UOG Equestrian Katie Prout ahead of The Cheltenham Races

UOG Equestrian Katie Prout believes this time of year is “a special moment and time to be a university student in Cheltenham” ahead of the annual Cheltenham Festival upcoming this week. 

People across the country visit Cheltenham every year for one of the most prestigious elite sporting events. The famous Cheltenham races are around the corner and this is the busiest time of the year in Gloucestershire with thousands attending and watching all over the country.

This can be a difficult time as a student based in the Cheltenham area during this week, however University of Gloucestershire’s equestrian star Prout says it’s a privilege being part of the horsing community in this moment of time.

“Being part of the equestrian club at this time, it is really special for us,” said Prout. “It is great to see everyone come together as a whole to celebrate the passion and beauty of the horses.

As a university student, it can be a daunting experience at first with the amount of people that come down for this amazing event but the atmosphere is unmatched and I am lucky to be part of something that is such a big aspect of Cheltenham.”

Prout has been involved within the sport from a young age, with various experiences going from hunting to racing and to dressage. 

“I have been riding since I was three years old and I have been luckily enough to have my own horses as I come from a very horsey family.

“But at the University, we all come from different backgrounds like dressage, vaulting and eventing and by joining the club it has really reinforced the love I have for the sport and we have had a successful year of competing in competitions which help the students and club a lot.”

For four days each year, the town is taken over by a buzzing atmosphere, restaurants, bars, hotels, and betting shops are filled and UOG’S Prout believes the races help the economy and help Cheltenham’s small businesses. 

“I think the races are great for Cheltenham and for the economy as they keep everyone in town really busy,” said Prout.

“It is a good time for small businesses in Cheltenham to get the recognition they deserve and the races play a huge factor in this with the huge population that come through.”

The total economic impact of the 2022 Cheltenham Festival is estimated at £274 million up from an estimate of around £100 million when the project was last undertaken in 2016.

The Cheltenham Festival is the sacred rite of spring and a shared explosion of long-deferred joy and Proud is “excited” for the week ahead.

“Everyone has a sense of pride being there and everyone is there from different parts of the country and that is what the Cheltenham Races are about, bringing everyone together as well as having a good time, it is nothing like it in this world.”

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