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The Cheltenham Festival in art: St Patrick’s Thursday

PUBLISHED: 17:50 18 March 2014 | UPDATED: 12:15 20 March 2014

Even in the morning, the Guiness Village was packed.

Even in the morning, the Guiness Village was packed.


Alexander Small, a third-year Illustration student at the University of Gloucestershire in Cheltenham, has been busy documenting this year’s Cheltenham Festival in a series of illustrations - here are his latest drawings from the third day of The Races, St Patrick’s Thursday.

Barry Geraghty is interviewed on his way back to the winner's enclosure after winning the Ladbrokes World Hurdle on More Of That.Barry Geraghty is interviewed on his way back to the winner's enclosure after winning the Ladbrokes World Hurdle on More Of That.

Rain or shine, Alexander Small documents the comings and goings, the highs and the lows, the wide-ranging characters, both human and equestrian, to be found at the Races.

The drawings, which can be seen on his blog site, will form the basis of his final major project at university.

Alex said: “The aim of these drawings is to capture the character of racing at Cheltenham from the viewpoint of the punter and spectator. All the drawings are done at the Racecourse during meetings. Everything is drawn from life, although the imagination is occasionally required to fill in the gaps when my subject has disappeared from view!”

This year, he has attended every day of The Cheltenham Festival, capturing the event in the sketchbooks he takes with him. Click the gallery at the top right of this page to see his latest work from the third day of The Races, St Patrick’s, on Thursday March 13.

Alex said: “Officially, it’s not St Patrick’s Day until Monday 17th, but it’s become a tradition at Cheltenham since the Festival became a four-day event to have a day named after the Irish patron saint. The card is always full of Irish horses, jockeys and trainers, and there’s no shortage of Irish in the crowd either. Guinness is a prominent sponsor of the Festival and the Guinness Village is something like the day’s official watering hole.”


His original drawings are for sale and he is planning on having a series of them made into prints.

Visit to read Alex’s blog and see more of his lively drawings of life at Cheltenham Racecourse.


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