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National Horse Racing Week – Where Will You Visit?

National Horse Racing Week runs from the 10th – 18thSeptember 2022 where race yards in different locations around the UK open their doors to the public for a behind the scenes look at these truly unique equine athletes.

Dubbed ‘the Sport of Kings’, racehorses really after are treated like royalty. Now the general public are invited to take a look for themselves with over 150 venues including trainers, studs and re-training centres opening their doors for free.

Organised by Great British Racing, this open week is designed to showcase the high level of care racehorses receive and introduce some new faces to the sport of horse racing.  Venues include studs with this years’ foals and busy race yards with horses in training.

You can find out what goes into getting the fastest weight bearing animal on earth into peak condition to run and jump and how the staff look after these beautiful creatures. The phrase, “it takes a village” is no understatement with a range of training and fittening resources including all weather exercise tracks, grass gallops, jumping lanes, hydrotherapy pools and rehabilitation centres to deal with injures.

I visited Paul Webber racing with my family and met some of the horses and heard about their breeding, their characters and also saw the horses in action with a chance to also get up close and personal.

You can see how each horse is an individual and how different they are from one another and how this has to be reflected in their management and training. Paul Webber is open on Saturday September 10th and welcomes visitors to his yard near Banbury.

Yard visits during National Racing Week will include some of the following events depending on which yard you visit:-

  • Meet the racehorses
  • Hosted yard or stable tour
  • Farriery demonstrations
  • Equine swimming pool demonstration 
  • Water treadmill demonstration 
  • Swimming pool sessions
  • Physiotherapy sessions
  • Refreshments

This is a truly great day out for the family, for equestrian enthusiasts and for those who have no equine connections but often wondered what goes on behind the scenes, NRW is the ultimate celebration of racehorses.

As part of National Horseracing Week, HEROS is also open to the public. HEROS is a charity re-training and re-homing ex racehorses when their racing days are over. Many ex-racehorses go on to lead a second life in a different job including three-day eventing, dressage and show jumping and as show horses supported by the series Racehorse to Riding Horse which can be seen at all the country shows during the spring and summer season. Thoroughbred Dressage will also be opening their doors, a yard dedicated to re-training racehorses with a dressage focus. These stables provide a great window into what happens next for the racehorse, and they are just a couple of the re-training yards also opening their doors as part of National Racing Week.

Even though they are bred to go fast, racehorses can make incredibly docile and calm family horses with the right training and take to a new career with the correct introduction. Many of the big training yards have their own re-training schemes so they can find appropriate homes for their racehorses once their racing days are over.

To find out which yards are open near where you live, visit the website https://nationalracehorseweek.uk. The Henry Cecil Open Weekend sees over 20 yards open their doors in Newmarket. Open days also include flat racing yards in Epsom and Lambourn and jump racing trainers in Malton, North Yorkshire. There are flat and jump racing yards all over the country away from the main centres, from Scotland right down to the southwest so you will be able to find one not too far away from where you live.