Press Release Date: 09/12/2014 

 Middleham Stables Open Event, Good Friday April 3, 2015

The tremendously popular Middleham Stables Open Day, which is celebrating its 22nd anniversary, will be held on Good Friday again next year.

 Fears that racing on Good Friday, held for the first time this year, would ruin the 2014 Open Day proved unfounded, with more than 6,000 visitors enjoying a splendid day.

Once again, the 2015 The Stables Open Day will feature a host of attractions for horse-racing enthusiasts and families alike.

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.

Last year’s event raised more than £18,000 for various local and national charities. 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.

Lesley Sweeting, the Chair of Directors at Middleham Key Centre, who administrate the Open Day, explained: “Jessica’s parents James and Sally have set up the Jessica Bethell Charitable Foundation to fund research into meningitis and we are proud to have chosen the Foundation as one of our two main charities for Open Day next year.

“Jessica was a huge supporter of the Open Day and it is fitting we should remember her and raise funds for such an important cause,” she added.

With the Tour de France having passed through Middleham in July 2014, and the continuing interest in Richard III, who had very special links with the town, these are exciting times for the Newmarket of the North.

“The stables at Middleham contain some of the best racehorses in the north of England and we are looking forward to one of the biggest and the best days in the Open Day’s history next year. Having coped successfully with racing on Good Friday, there is every cause for celebration,” added Lesley Sweeting.

Jim Allen, the director of Arena Racing Company, who are providing the live screen, explained:  “We understand that the changes to the racing calendar were controversial to some in racing but we are very pleased to show our support to the Middleham Open Day by ensuring visitors have the opportunity to enjoy the day’s racing as well as making the most of the many attractions on offer”.

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 4.30pm.