Setting hares running at Cheltenham Racecourse for live auction event

The giant hares that have been gracing the landscape across the Cotswolds are now available to bid on ahead of an auction event at Cheltenham Racecourse on Friday 6th October.

The Cotswold Hare Trail 2017 has launched an online auction to sell the hare sculptures which can be found nestling in towns, villages and businesses across the area.

Eighty-two five foot hares and 22 leverets - decorated by amateur and professional artists, along with schools and community groups - are now available to bid on online ahead of a live auction at the Racecourse’s Hall of Fame from 6.30pm.

A preview reception will give people the chance to see all the hares in their glory, ahead of the auction led by Paul Martin from BBC’s Flog It! show.

Net profits raised from the auction of hares will be donated to local historical projects and National Star, the charity which provides specialist residential education, personal development, occupation and transition services to young people with disabilities.

Florence Beetlestone, who organised the trail festival, said: “We launched the trail back in March and it has gone brilliantly, and we’re really looking forward to auctioning the hares on October 6.

“The quality of the work the artists have produced has been exceptional and the trail has opened up all parts of the Cotswolds to wide audiences to see areas they may never have seen before.

“The support we’ve had from the artists, businesses and community groups in the area has been fantastic and it will be great to see all the hares together in the Hall of Fame at Cheltenham Racecourse.

“So for everyone who didn’t have a chance to follow the trail, the event on October 6 will be the place to be.”

Lee Moulson, Regional Head of Sales at Cheltenham Racecourse, added: “The auction will be quite a spectacle as the hares look fantastic and will be extremely popular.

“In the past some of the hares have fetched more than £10,000 and hopefully the auction will help raise a good sum for local good causes, including National Star.”

An online auction is already live at www.cirencestermarchharefestival.org.uk which will lead into the physical auction on October 6.

Tickets to the event cost £20 and includes admission, an auction catalogue, a drink and finger buffet, and must be bought from the website. 

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