The Horse Comes First in Middleham

On Good Friday the racing community in Middleham opens its doors to the public, welcoming them to visit the local yards to see hundreds of racehorses up close and relaxed in their home environment. As well as being a great day out and an opportunity to raise money for local charities, it also provides the chance to recognise the hard working staff across the country who make sure that racehorses receive first class care, day in, day out. 

British Racing is among the world's best regulated animal activities, and is recognised as a world leader on horse welfare. Indeed, among a population estimated to be around 1 million, racehorses in Britain are almost certainly among the healthiest and best looked after 2% of horses in the country. Nationwide the sport employs over 6,500 people to provide first class care and attention for the 14,000 horses in training. 

British Racing is also committed to providing the best possible standards of veterinary care for its horses and has invested, via the Horserace Betting Levy Board, over £27 million since 2000 in Veterinary Research and Education. This substantial investment brings benefits for all breeds of horses in Britain.

This commitment to maintaining high standards of equine welfare extends beyond a racehorse’s career on the racecourse. An increasing number of racehorses go on to successful second careers after retiring from the track, an aspect that will be marked on Good Friday at Middleham by the presence of former star chaser Mister McGoldrick, who be appearing on behalf of the charity, New Beginnings. 

There are now over 10,000 horses registered with Retraining of Racehorses RoR) (British Horseracing’s official charity for the welfare of former racehorses) as active in other equine disciplines outside of racing, including Polo, Showing, Dressage and Eventing, as well as those horses happily engaged in hacking and exercising.

Open Days in the country's principal training centres demonstrate British racing's transparency and highlight the pride racing's staff have in the horses under their care.

At the Middleham Open Day 'The Horse Comes First' will have a presence at the yard of Ann Duffield and 'The Horse Comes First' will also be represented at the Lambourn Open Day.