Sunday 16th September saw over 2000 visitors flocking to the North Yorkshire town of Malton to visit the yards of 12 trainers open to the public on the day, followed by a programme of family friendly events at Highfield Gallops in the afternoon.
Racing fans were able to meet stars of both Flat and National Hunt codes on the day, including this year’s Gimcrack winner Sands of Mali, the bet365 Bunbury Cup victor Burnt Sugar, 2016 Scottish Sprint Cup winner Hoof it and Ribchester, victorious last year’s Prix Du Moulin. Guests to Mark Campion’s yard had the opportunity to enter his competition to name a new recruit to the team of horses running for the Mark Campion Racing Club, the winner of which will be given one year’s free membership to the club.
Racing Welfare’s Chief Executive Dawn Goodfellow said “We are incredibly grateful to all of the trainers, stable staff and volunteers who made this year’s Malton Festival of Racing possible; events like this are a huge team effort. I’d also like to thank our title sponsors Arena Racing Company for continuing their support of the day, as well as the sponsors of each of the individual events. It’s wonderful to see the event so well supported by the local community; racing is part of the fabric of Malton and we are delighted to be able to celebrate it in this way.”
Visitors also enjoyed touring the Injured Jockey Fund’s Northern Rehabilitation Centre, Jack Berry House, where children and adults alike were able to try out their skills on an Equiciser as well as taking on jockeys Brian Hughes and Henry Brooke in the Jock’s Racing Challenge.
The Jockeys and Pony Club Showjumping Relay, held on Highfield Gallops and sponsored by White Rose Saddlery and Crombie Wilkinson Solicitors, proved to be a real draw in the afternoon. The event saw a huge entry, with 28 Pony Club riders paired up with a jockey to negotiate a challenging course of showjumps against the clock. With four seconds added to the pairing’s overall time for any pole knocked down, both speed and accuracy were of the essence. The competition was hot, but the winning pair of Emily Thomson and Brian Hughes showed how it was done with a series of tight turns and direct lines to take the title. In addition to the prizes for the winners, the top six Pony Club riders all received rosettes and goodie bags from White Rose Saddlery, Careers in Racing and Money Web.
Despite a mixed forecast, the weather was kind throughout the day and visitors perused a range of high-quality food, drink and shopping stalls at the gallops in the afternoon. The bucking bronco proved very popular with all ages, along with the children’s ‘Grand National’ inflatable game.
There was also a chance to enter Racing Welfare’s grand raffle draw, prizes for which included a pair of Dubarry boots, membership to the Richard Fahey Racing Club, a two-night stay at The Old Stable accommodation, race badges and much more. Winners of the draw will be announced on Friday 21st September.
The Malton Festival of Racing Dog Show, sponsored by Linton Pet Shop, saw a bumper entry of dogs in every shape and size. The ‘dog who looks most like their racing personality owner’ was won by Jack Berry with his dog, Lexi.
As the organisers of the event, Racing Welfare were the main beneficiary charity of the day, with money raised going to fund the charity’s work in Malton and surrounding areas.