Middleham pub changes name to honour famous horse

Joyce Jarvis outside the Dante Arms.

A Middleham pub has changed its name to honour a famous horse.

The Dante Arms is the new name for the Black Swan.

Dante won the Derby in 1945 and was trained in Middleham by Matthew Peacock.

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The name has been changed by pub tenants Sharon Carter-Ward and husband Ken, who took over the pub in January.

The pair ran the pub briefly several years ago and found that people were getting their pub mixed up with the White Swan and Black Bull in Middleham.

Sharon said: “We wanted to change the name and the Dante – being the famous horse in Middleham that won the Derby at Newmarket in 1945 during the war – seemed to be the perfect answer.”

In a quirk of fate, four years ago Sharon bought a painting of Dante from Masham woman Joyce Jarvis which has now been used for the signage.

Joyce came to see the Dante Arms this week.

Joyce told how she commissioned the painting for her husband George’s 60th birthday in 1985.

The piece by ex-jockey Mike Blades is a one off and there are no prints.

George was a jockey too, while Joyce worked in a bookies when the Dante won the Derby and can remember people coming in to place their bets on the horse.

She was honoured that the painting had been used for the name change of the pub.

Sharon added: “Joyce said she just wanted the painting to be in Middleham – ‘home’ as she put it.”


The painting of Dante bought by Sharon Carter-Ward.

Dante was the last horse trained in northern England to win the Derby.

In a racing career which lasted from the spring of 1944 until June 1945 he ran nine times and won eight races.