11:23am Wednesday 18th December 2013
THE Middleham Stables Open Day will go ahead next year – despite racing being permitted on Good Friday for the first time.
The annual tour of the town’s racing yards, which raised £12,000 for good causes earlier this year, will be staged on April 18.
Its future had been under threat with racing set to be staged at Musselburgh and at Lingfield next year.
But after Betfair continued as sponsors, and Arena Racing Company pledged to provide a free big screen in the market square to allow racing fans to watch the afternoon’s action, the Middleham Trainers Association decided “unanimously” to continue the two decade tradition.
A dozen stables have already confirmed they will open their doors for the event, which has previously allowed the public to go behind the scenes of yards like Mark Johnston and Karl Burke.
James Bethell, MTA chairman, said: “The traditional date for the Stables Open Day had been threatened with the introduction of Good Friday racing onto the 2014 racing calendar.
“However with the support of Betfair and ARC we reached a unanimous decision not to change it and hope to make next year’s open day the biggest ever.”
Susannah Gill, Betfair’s head of public affairs, said: “Betfair are thrilled to once again be supporting the Betfair Middleham Stables Open Day.
“Open days are an exciting way of allowing existing racing fans, and potential new fans, to see a unique angle to the sport and we are pleased to be part of making this happen.”
Jim Allen, Arena Racing Company’s director of racing, said: “We understand that the changes to the racing calendar were controversial to some in racing but ARC is very pleased to be able to show our support for the open day and ensure all visitors have the opportunity to enjoy the day’s racing as well as making the most of the many attractions on offer.”
Tickets will cost £10, including a souvenir brochure. Entry for accompanied children 12 and under is free.
For more information, log on to www.middlehamstablesopenday.co.uk or phone the Stables Open Day hotline on 01969 624411.
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