The first National Racehorse Week, a celebration of racehorses throughout the UK, will be held from Sept. 12-19. The aim is to highlight the levels of care provided by trainers and grooms and tout the equine athletes who make the sport possible. Henry Cecil Open Weekend in Newmarket and the ARC Malton Open Day start the week, with the Epsom and Middleham Open Days held on the second weekend. Trainers are encouraged nationwide to open their yards to the public. There will also be a programme of virtual events, as well as education charity Racing to School promoting the week across beneficiary schools, colleges and pony clubs with some activity days planned at training yards for young people. National Racehorse Week is the brainchild of trainer Richard Phillips to create a single event across the racing industry in praise of the Thoroughbred. Funding for the event is provided by the Racing Foundation, the Sir Peter O'Sullevan Charitable Trust and Great British Racing, who will lead in the delivery of the project along with the National Trainers Federation.
Phillips said, “I am delighted to see the idea of National Racehorse Week spring into life. It truly is a fantastic opportunity for our wonderful owners, staff, trainers and jockeys to come together for a common love of the racehorse and a chance to show the public and policy makers that racing has absolutely nothing to hide. Racing has a great story to tell, so let's get it out there and tell it.”
Rupert Arnold, Chief Executive of the NTF, added, “As we developed the plan for National Racehorse Week over the last six months, there has been overwhelming and enthusiastic support from trainers. Everyone wants a chance to show their respect for the racehorses to whom they give such exceptional care.
“I am confident that trainers and their staff, who forge such a close bond with their horses, will grasp the opportunity provided by National Racehorse Week. The National Trainers Federation looks forward to encouraging and supporting them.”