Great British Racing and the National Trainers Federation have launched the UK’s first ever National Racehorse Week, which runs until the 19th September.
The campaign is supported by the Racing Foundation and the Peter O’Sullevan Charitable Trust, and will see a week’s worth of celebrations across the country, where some 131 trainers will open their yards to allow more than 10,000 members of public to witness first-hand the ‘care, love and attention’ that goes into training race horses.
The week kicked off on Sunday 12th September, with visitors attending the first day able to experience a day in the life of a racehorse. 55 yards across the country hosted behind-the-scenes tours of the facilities, giving visitors and families the opportunity to meet horses and their support teams.
The yards included pre-existing open days at two of racing’s epicentres – Malton and Epsom - and more will open throughout the week
“Horseracing is part of the rich fabric of British culture and an integral part of our rural economy and we were delighted to have Royal Ascot as one of our Events Research Programme pilots this summer that paved the way for reopening,” said Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden.
"At the heart of the sport are the thoroughbred racehorses themselves and it is wonderful that members of the public will be able to visit racing yards in their communities.
"We are absolutely committed to maintaining our high animal welfare standards so this will be a fantastic opportunity for the general public to see the dedicated care that goes into looking after these magnificent animals.”
On the opening day of the celebration, trainer Richard Phillips - who originally came up with the idea of a nationwide event - welcomed members of the public to a special church service held at his Adlestrop Stables, which included a special blessing for the racehorses at the yard.
Other activities held across the country included a wide range of welfare-related demonstrations including water treadmills and hydrotherapy, horse physiotherapy and chiropody, and a chance to see the horses taking their daily exercise on the gallops.