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Bumper crowds flock to North Yorkshire for the return of ARC Middleham Open Day

Bumper crowds flocked to North Yorkshire on Good Friday as ARC Middleham Open Day returned, with 12 local racehorse trainers opening up their doors to the public.

Having been absent from the calendar since 2019 due to the Covid-19 pandemic, there was a clear appetite to get back to in-person visits with more than 3,500 people in attendance.

Visitors to Middleham enjoyed watching horses swimming at Mark Johnston’s Kingsley House yard and were able to visit Ann Duffield’s yard to see horses working on the water treadmill. Activities on the Low Moor in the afternoon included an RoR parade and the ever-competitive inter-yard activities which saw a team from Mark Johnston’s take the spoils.

“People are here because they’re horseracing enthusiasts and because they wouldn’t get an opportunity otherwise to see a horse and get up close to it. I think it’s really important to engage with the public and let them see the horses other than on the racecourse, see what racing is all about.”

- Mark Johnston

Former assistant trainer to Sir Michael Stoute, James Horton of Manor House Farm was among those opening their doors and followed up with a treble at Redcar on Easter Sunday – the trainer’s first winners in his solo career.

Importantly, the event raised in the region of £30,000 in vital funds for organisers Racing Welfare, who provide a wide range of advice and support services for people working in or retired from racing who make our days at the races possible.

In 2021, Racing Welfare provided 1,261 instances of support to 149 beneficiaries in the Middleham area. Wider than that, 611 individuals in the North received 3,590 instances of support.

It was fantastic to be back for ARC Middleham Open Day after two years due to the pandemic. We’re incredibly grateful to all of the trainers and stable staff who so generously welcomed the public to their yards and provided a great day out for all who attended. It’s a great opportunity for the public to see behind the scenes at some top racing yards, and an important day for the local community. Of course, the event serves as an important fundraiser for Racing Welfare, so that we can continue to support the local racing community in Middleham.

- Chief Executive of Racing Welfare, Dawn Goodfellow

Anyone working in the horseracing industry is able to get support by calling Racing Welfare’s 24/7 support line on 0800 6300 443 or by visiting www.racingwelfare.co.uk