Middleham Open Day – Good Friday 2013
This year I visited Middleham Open Day for the very first time and its an event I can highly recommend for any lovers of horses and horse racing.
Over a dozen stables open their doors to the public and for just £7 (in aid of charity) you freely meander around the different yards (including George Moore’s below) getting a wonderful insight into how they operate and the love and care shown by their lads and lasses. For a further £3 there is a brochure listing all the horses on view, their pedigrees, ownership etc and pen pictures of the stables themselves.
A very well organised event included free coach travel to those yards outside the town of Middleham itself on the other side of the famous gallops. The stables in vary from the highly efficient looking Mark Johnston yard to the more homely yards squeezed in behind the houses and pubs. But was was common to all was the warm welcome and highly informative chat from staff and the endless photo opportunities there were to capture the beauty of the horses and their surroundings.
There were a couple of particular highlights for me. One was watching Mark Johnston’s team exercise the horses in the swimming pool (Bute Hall in photo)The other was getting to pat the nose of 2012 Grand National winner Neptune Collonges (below) at the team Burke yard (even if that nose denied me the winner taht year!)
The day was completed with a wonderful hog roast from one of the many food vendors and a browse round all the stall selling racing memorobilia.
I will definitely back again next Good Friday. This time I hope to make it to Ann Duffield’s yard which is a bit further out of town.
The day is a must for all northern racing fans.