The Cheltenham Foxhunter at the Festival is to be sponsored by the Country Gentlemen’s Association (CGA) as part of a five-year deal.

CGA will also take over the Hunter Chase “Road to Cheltenham” backing 23 hunter chases in Britian in the run up to the CGA Foxhunter Trial Steeplechase on Friday 15 March at the Festival.

The race, which was first staged in 1904, had been run under the Christie’s banner for the past 34 years, but in July the auctioneers stepped down from the sponsorship

The CGA was founded in 1893. Members enjoy privileges including magazine, exclusive events and retail discounts. It also provides insurance services to both members and non members.

The race runs 45 minutes after the Cheltenham Gold Cup and is open to amateur riders only. Previous winners include Grittar, Spartan Missile, Double Silk, Earthmover, Baby Run and last year’s winner Salsify.

William Harrison-Allan of The Country Gentleman’s Association said: “In 2013 we celebrate the CGA’s 120th year and what better way to celebrate than supporting one of the most historic races at The Festival on Gold Cup Day, jump racing’s day of days.

“The CGA Foxhunter Steeplechase is the ideal race for us and the addition of many of the trial races prior to the big day will put our thriving nationwide membership organisation in front of many more people.”