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The Vincent O’Brien County Handicap Hurdle is a class A, grade 3 hurdle raced at the Cheltenham Festival. Raced on the Cheltenham New Course, the Vincent O’Brien County Handicap Hurdle covers a distance of 2 miles and 1 furlong.
The race is open to 5 year old and older hurdlers. The race is named in honour of legendary hurdles trainer Vincent O’Brien, who retired from national hunt racing in 1994.
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The County Handicap Hurdle has been raced at the Cheltenham Festival since 1920. The County Handicap Hurdle boasts the record for the most abandonments of any Cheltenham Festival race, with the race abandoned for the 5th time in 2001 due to the foot and mouth crisis.
The quality of the runners participating in the County Handicap Hurdle has been variable, with few moving on to greater things after taking the race title. The race has also proven to be something of a lottery for trainers, with only Paul Nicholls managing to achieve two race wins during the past two decades.