Cheltenham Festival: Classic photos from jump racing's big meeting

Crowds pack the stands in the background of this panoramic view of Cheltenham racecourse
Cheltenham calling: Award-winning Racing Post photographer Edward Whitaker has picked 10 of his favourite images ahead of the Festival, which takes place from 12-15 March. From Istabraq to Kauto Star, they portray more than a decade at the famous race meeting...
Richard Johnson and Flagship Uberalles
Finishing line: Emotion takes over as Richard Johnson reacts to winning Wednesday's feature race, the Queen Mother Champion Chase, in 2002 on favourite Flagship Uberalles for trainer Philip Hobbs
Jim Culloty and Best Mate
Gold run: Jim Culloty on triple Cheltenham Gold Cup winner Best Mate in 2003. The horse, trained by Henrietta Knight, won the race three times from 2002 to 2004 in the colours of his Aston Villa-supporting owner Jim Lewis
Istabraq and Charlie Swan
End of an era: Istabraq, the three-time champion hurdler owned by JP McManus, being pulled up by disappointed jockey Charlie Swan in 2002 when he aimed for an historic fourth win
Tony McCoy and Ruby Walsh
Jockeying for position: Friends and rivals Tony McCoy and Ruby Walsh, pictured 10 years ago in 2003. McCoy, 38, has been champion 17 times while 33-year-old Walsh, whose hair turned grey in his 20s, has won more races at the Festival than any other rider
Cheltenham Festival
Racing certainty? Punters swarm around the packed betting ring at Cheltenham racecourse. Bookmakers estimate that more than £250m in total is wagered during the four days of the Festival
Andrew Lynch and Sizing Europe
Good for you: Jockey Andrew Lynch leading 2011 Champion chase winner Sizing Europe in to the winner's enclosure as punters enjoy a pint between races at the meeting, which attracts a large Irish contingent
Nicky Henderson
Magnificent seven: Nicky Henderson, the Cheltenham Festival's all-time leading trainer, who topped the standings at the 2012 meeting with a record-breaking seven victories including Finian's Rainbow in the Champion Chase
Cheltenham runners in the County Hurdle
Over the jumps: Cheltenham Festival runners jump a flight in the County Hurdle at the Gloucestershire course which attracts a crowd of 230,000 over the four days
Ruby Walsh and Kauto Star
Bowing out: The Cheltenham Gold Cup field do battle in earnest whilst in the background Ruby Walsh pulls up dual winner Kauto Star in what turns out to be his seventh and final Festival outing in March 2012