Middleham: 9 of the best pictures from the open day at one of North Yorkshire’s hubs for horse racing

They are the legendary North Yorkshire stables which have been training racehorses for more than 200 years.

But on Good Friday, the market town of Middleham opened up its doors to the public so visitors could get a glimpse into the world of elite horse racing. More than 400 winners having been trained there each year for the past 38 years and there are currently 15 training yards located in and around the town. Nine of them opened their doors to the public for the yearly event.

Members of public and racing fans headed to the market town between Wensleydale and the Yorkshire Dales to learn more about what goes into training the horses, and even get the chance to get up close to the horses themselves.

Among the yards to take part in the event were Johnston Racing, which was set up by Mark Johnston in 1987 and led by him until his son Charlie took over the training licence at the start of last year, and Spigot Lodge, which is steeped in history and run by Karl Burke, a former jockey. It was named after the 1821 St Leger winner Jack Spigot and has capacity to stable 130 horses .

More than 3,200 people headed out into the sunshine on Good Friday to explore Middleham’s historic racing yards at last year’s event, which raised more than £27,000 for Racing Welfare, with funds going towards providing support for people working in and retired from the horseracing industry.

Comment Guidelines

National World encourages reader discussion on our stories. User feedback, insights and back-and-forth exchanges add a rich layer of context to reporting. Please review our Community Guidelines before commenting.