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07 September 2022

Local Mayor encourages community to support annual ARC Malton Open Day

As the dust settles on the ever-popular Ebor Festival, Yorkshire turns its attention toward what is arguably one of the highlights of the year for many a racing fan – the ARC Malton Open Day. Signs have been popping up all around the town advertising the Sunday 11th September date, and one person who certainly won’t be missing it this year is the town’s Mayor, Cllr Ian Conlan. 

Organisers of the annual event, Racing Welfare, caught up with the Mayor in the weeks leading up to the event. He said: “Horses have played a big part in my family’s life. When we were younger and living in Oxford my wife used to cycle up to 23 miles every day just going to work and then the stables to look after and ride her horse! Also, all our children have really enjoyed horse riding lessons when they were younger. So, when I heard about the chance to visit the local racing stables, my interest was instantly piqued. 

“I also have a particular and very personal interest in supporting the welfare of people in the racing industry. My sister loved horses and riding and worked at a couple of racing stables in Cumbria. She struggled with mental health issues over many years and died from suicide 11 years ago.

“This is where charities like Racing Welfare come in, not only are they able to offer rapid and direct access to support services, but they also offer a good understanding of the specific issues and needs of those people working in the horseracing industry. 

“It’s an industry that can have many challenges, particularly I think for the young people who might be living far away from their family. I imagine that can be quite challenging mentally, as well as having to cope with physical injuries that I know are a big risk to those working with racehorses. It is so important to have charities like Racing Welfare looking out for these people in our community.”  

Throughout 2021 Racing Welfare supported a total of 313 individuals in the Malton area. That figure remains steadfast into 2022 with almost 190 local people supported in just the first half of this year. The Mayor Cllr Conlan continues: “As residents of a town so steeped in racing history, it is important that we as a community support charities such as Racing Welfare who work hard to look after our local people.

“The Open Day sounds like a fun and informative event. Hopefully it raises lots of money for Racing Welfare’s vital work which I firmly believe could be the difference between life and death, or certainly at least good health and poor health, for those working in our local horseracing community.”

As part of National Racehorse Week, 14 local racehorse trainers will open their doors to the public at this year’s ARC Malton Open Day, followed by activities at Tim Fitzgerald’s Highfield Gallops during the afternoon. There is a massive team effort that goes into organising an event of this magnitude, which is being led by Racing Welfare volunteer and Trustee Venetia Wrigley DL. 

Venetia said: “Tim [Fitzgerald, Vice-Chair of the Malton Open Day Committee] and I are so lucky to have the support of such a fantastic team, made up of volunteers and Racing Welfare staff. 

“Being local to Malton means that I hear all the praise about Racing Welfare from the lads and lasses. The welfare team, Sarah, Harriet, Helen and Adam – they’re the people who really impact the racing community here and seeing first-hand how their efforts are valued by all the local members of staff is the real reason behind why I get involved in this event year-on-year. They are so empathetic and kind, they go well beyond the call of duty.

“Thanks must go to Tim for his immense generosity in gifting us the use of his gallops and land and for also drafting in the wonderful volunteers from the Middleton Pony Club to provide the catering for the day.” 

Find out more about the ARC Malton Open Day and book tickets at

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