Middleham horses, with the historic castle in the background

Member Article

Horse-racing crucial to the economy of Dales town

The vital importance of horse-racing to the economy of Middleham in the Yorkshire Dales will be underlined on Good Friday, April 3.

Thousands of visitors will descend on Middleham for the 22nd Middleham Stables Open Day.

The popular Open Day attracted than 6,000 visitors in 2014 and raised £18,000 for local and national charities.

The stables will be open to the public, with more than 500 horses for visitors to see, while racing from Lingfield will be screened live from a big screen at the Top Cross in Middleham from 1.45pm.

The day will be officially opened by Alastair Down, the legendary racing journalist and broadcaster.

Middleham is home to the stables of Mark Johnston, one of the leading trainers in the UK. Before Johnston arrived in the 1980s the town, despite its illustrious racing history, was struggling to survive.

This year the two main charities to benefit will be the Jessica Bethell Charitable Foundation, in memory of the daughter of James Bethell, the chairman of Middleham Trainers’ Association, and The Household Cavalry Foundation.

William Hague, Conservative MP for Richmond and the Foreign Secretary, said: “Middleham is a tremendous success story and fully deserves its reputation as the finest racing centre in the north of England. We have some phenomenally successful trainers and it is wonderful that they open their yards to so many people. This is a very special day in the racing year”.

Tickets cost £10 per adult, including a souvenir brochure and a chance to win a prize in the programme draw. Admission for accompanied children is free.

The yards are open to the public on Good Friday from 9.30am till either 1.00pm or 2.30pm. Free parking is available in Middleham or nearby Leyburn, with free bus links between car parks and the outlying stables. This includes Ann and George Duffield, who are opening their successful Sun Hill Stables at Constable Burton from 12 noon until 4.00pm.

This was posted in Bdaily's Members' News section by Robert Beaumont .

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