National Racehorse Week set to return in September
Racing’s annual celebration of the horses at the heart of our sport is set to return later this year with the second National Racehorse Week taking place 10-18th September. The initiative is funded by the Racing Foundation, with additional support from the Horserace Betting Levy Board as part of its funding of welfare communications. The week will once again be led by Great British Racing, which was recently shortlisted for a BT Sports Industry Award for last year’s campaign.
This year’s event will be bookended by the open days taking place at Epsom and Malton on 11th September and The Henry Cecil Open Weekend in Newmarket on 17th-18th September, with trainers across the country, together with studs and aftercare centres all invited to participate and open their doors to the public. There will be a particular focus on engaging community groups and new audiences to racing with support from Racing To School and Racing Together, as well as potential future fans of the sport via urban equestrian centres and riding clubs.
“The second National Racehorse Week is shaping up well to build on the interest and goodwill of last year. The Racing to School events we ran during the week were very successful for our beneficiaries who enjoyed swapping the classroom for trainers’ yards in England and Scotland,” said CEO John Blake.
“We plan to increase the number of participants this year and have been pleased with the enthusiastic response from trainers, stud owners and rehoming centres that are keen to work with us to host days for young people on an ongoing basis. The impact of NRW to encourage the sport to look outward to support and engage with communities is so important.”
See video with trainer Richard Phillips and Anna-Lisa Balding speaking about the importance of National Racehorse Week and the different ways they brought it to life last year here.
Richard Phillips, the racehorse trainer who originally came up with the idea for a National Racehorse Day in 2019 said: “I am thrilled that National Racehorse Week is returning for a second year and has become a standing part of racing’s calendar. Last year’s event was a huge success with over 130 yards opening up and down the country and 11,000 stable visits booked. We will be working to make this year’s event even bigger and better with more locations opening including studs and aftercare centres. Everyone within racing knows how well our horses are looked after and National Racehorse Week is a brilliant chance for the public to experience this first hand as well.”
Rob Hezel, Chief Executive of the Racing Foundation which is providing core funding for the initiative said: “National Racehorse Week is a great opportunity to connect with local communities to showcase racing as a force for good across the country and to demonstrate the outstanding level of care that racehorses receive. The Racing Foundation is proud to support such an important initiative. We hope our funding will allow the event to be a success and a catalyst for the sport to take a much more strategic approach to community engagement in the future.”
Alan Delmonte, Chief Executive of the Horserace Betting Levy Board which is providing additional funding said: “The Levy Board funds a substantial number of initiatives to benefit the thoroughbred. National Racehorse Week showcases the care that racehorses receive throughout their lives and the Board is pleased to support the week as part of our wider commitment.”
Gabi Whitfield, Acting Head of Welfare Communications added: “National Racehorse Week unites the sport with so many different parts of the industry getting involved and is such a powerful way of building trust with the public. Last year 95% of attendees said that they had a much more positive impression of racing having visited a yard and this year we are focused on reaching an even wider cross section of the public.”
The initiative will be launched in full to the public later in June, at which time the online system for people to select and book their visits will go live. Already over 90 yards, studs and aftercare and retraining centres have signed up to be part of National Racehorse Week, excluding stables at the Open Days which make up the week including Epsom, Malton and Newmarket. To sign up to open your yard as part of National Racehorse Week please contact Lauren Stanley at Great British Racing: firstname.lastname@example.org