Middleham prepares for annual open day

Visitors at Middleham Stables Open Day.

Middleham’s horseracing community is once again pulling together to offer a day out for families and followers of racing alike this Good Friday.

Tickets are on sale now for ARC Middleham Open Day, giving visitors the opportunity to access the stables of nine local trainers on March 29 and see some of North Yorkshire’s most exciting racehorses in the flesh.

Following a morning of exploring the yards, ticketholders can head to Middleham’s Low Moor for an afternoon of activities and entertainment.

New Beginnings will then give a demo and talk around the process of retraining and rehoming former racehorses, before the hotly contested racing staff inter-yard challenge and Aiskew Equine and Pet Supplies Dog show.

Popular Household Cavalry horse Trooper Middleham will also be in attendance for one final time before he hangs up his shoes and heads into retirement.

The event directly helps to benefit the local community, with typically around 3,500 people flocking to the town for the day and raises vital funds for organisers Racing Welfare who have a strong local presence, including a designated welfare officer supporting Middleham’s racing workforce.

Like many, Ella, a groom and rider who has lived and worked in Middleham for eight years now, has recently been feeling the effects of spiralling bills. She applied for Racing Welfare’s Home Energy Grant and received a one-off payment of £300 to help alleviate the financial burden.

She said: “In all honesty I’ve not been putting the heating on unless it has been freezing and unbearable, or I have clothes that need drying, so it’s quite nice to relieve that pressure a bit and know that I can turn the heating on if it’s cold. The electricity bill is quite high and I rent on my own, so I have all those bills to pay. It seems as though everything has gone up!”

It’s not the first time Ella has turned to Racing Welfare for support; previously she was having quite a stressful time and confided in her local welfare officer, Gail about how she was feeling.

“She recommended I speak to the occupational therapist [via Racing Welfare’s Support Line] and they arranged for a course of six face to face counselling sessions. I found them really beneficial to the point where I then carried on having sessions. I was in quite a senior position so there was quite a bit of pressure dealing with staff and things, so it helped me become more aware of other people’s emotions and how to handle them better.

“Working in the industry we’re generally quite tough people and just get on with things but it’s great to know Racing Welfare is there if you need them. There’s such a varied range of support you can get, not just for mental health, there’s careers, finance – there is something for everyone.”

Talking of her experience working in Middleham’s racing community, Ella said: “I love the fact that it’s such a team effort and the high you get – even normal day to day races. It’s great to see the horses progress, and that bond you create with them on the yard by working with them every day.”

Visitors to ARC Middleham Open Day can get a taster of what goes on behind the scenes, with tickets giving access to all of the following trainers’ yards:

  • Ben Haslam
  • Charlie Johnston
  • Micky Hammond
  • Karl Burke
  • Neil Mechie
  • Jedd O’Keeffe
  • Ed Bethell
  • Danny Brooke
  • Liam Bailey at Foulrice Park


The event provides exceptional value with discounted advance tickets available from www.middlehamopenday.co.uk for just £12.50 for adults and £8.50 for concessions, while under 16s go free.


  1. It would be nice if some of the money taken on this event went into cleaning the town up for the Middleham residents all year round and maybe put most of the money into the upkeep of the Key Centre as Masham do with the takings for the big even they have once a year the Steam Rally. They have managed over the years to maintain and run a fantastic Vintage Hall for there residents and Middleham Key Centre Village Hall is broke and maybe going to have to be sold.

  2. Will the talk about the rehoming of ex-racehorses include a mention that most are unsuitable for rehoming because they don’t make good general riding horses? It doesn’t take much imagination to realize what happens to the majority!

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