Fighting Fifth Hurdle

Newcastle plays host to the Fighting Fifth Hurdle annually in late November or early December; in fact the racecourse holds the Fighting Fifth Meeting specifically to celebrate this hair-raising event. The Fighting Fifth Hurdle is classified as a Grade 1 national hunt hurdle race; it is held over a distance of two miles and involves nine hurdles. The race is open to horses over the age of four.

The Fighting Fifth Hurdle is named in honour of the Royal Northumberland Fusiliers, who are known colloquially as the 'Fighting Fifth'. In 1968 - one year before the race was inaugurated - the regiment was disbanded and became part of the Royal Regiment of Fusiliers; prompting the racing authorities to commemorate the great military unit in the name of the new race.

Initially the Fighting Fifth Hurdle was classed as a Grade 2 race, which was followed by a brief stint as a limited handicap during the 1990s; it wasn't until 2004 that the race was elevated to Grade 1 status. Since 2006, after betting exchange WBX took over sponsorship of the event, the Fighting Fifth Hurdle has become the first leg of the Triple Crown of Hurdling. The series is completed by the Christmas Hurdle held at Kempton Park Racecourse and Cheltenham's Champion Hurdle - promising a whopping £1 million to the contender who conquers all three events. The Triple Crown of Hurdling is such a challenge that only one horse has ever managed to snatch the required triple win; Kribensis, trained by Sir Michael Stoute, pulled off this incredible feat in the 1989/90 season.

Recent Winners of the Fighting Fifth Hurdle:

Year Winner Age Jockey Trainer


Go Native


Davy Condon

Noel Meade




Barry Geraghty

Nicky Henderson




Paul Carberry

Noel Meade


Straw Bear


Tony McCoy

Nick Gifford




Tony Dobbin

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