ORGANISERS of the popular Middleham and Malton Open Days have joined forces with horseracing charity Racing Welfare to create a new Virtual Yorkshire Open Day, which will take place on Sunday, September 13.

The annual open days in the racing hubs of Middleham and Malton normally attract thousands of visitors and raise large sums for charity.

However, this year’s events were cancelled because of the coronavirus pandemic, and with other events also having been postponed, Racing Welfare find themselves with an income deficit of around £500,000.

In an attempt to plug the gap, the charity, which supports a wide range of people involved in racing and owns and operates 165 units of accommodation across the UK to provide housing for young people working in racing and those who have retired from the industry, has established a Virtual Yorkshire Open Day.

Dawn Goodfellow, chief executive of Racing Welfare, said: “Combining Middleham and Malton Open Days in a virtual form gives us a platform to promote racing in Yorkshire to a larger audience than we have ever been able to before.

“These occasions are hugely popular and important in promoting Yorkshire racing and for our fundraising efforts throughout the year. We hope everyone will follow the events of the day on Sunday, 13th September and enjoy the fabulous insights on offer.”

With Arena Racing Company (ARC) continuing to provide support, this year’s Virtual Open Day will feature trainers from right across Yorkshire providing video tours of their yards and insights into their training operation.

Some of Yorkshire’s biggest equine superstars will be on display, and there will be a special focus on Doncaster’s St Leger Festival and Ayr’s Gold Cup Festival, both of which will take place shortly after the Open Day.

Racing personalities will take part in special interviews, and there will be an opportunity for viewers to participate from home via an online dog show, with the winners of each class decided by public vote. There will also be an art competition, with entries judged by Racing Welfare ambassador and artist Darren Bird.

Tim Fitzgerald, vice chairman of the Malton Open Day committee, said: “The Covid-19 outbreak has given Malton Open Day the opportunity to develop into a virtual showcase of racing in Yorkshire.

“We are delighted to be able to share the array of amazing facilities available across the whole of the county and very much look forward to giving the public a behind-the-scenes experience.”

Racing Welfare conducts a large amount of its charity work in Yorkshire, and some of the funds raised by the Virtual Open Day will be used to support and develop Hill House in Middleham, a project that will incorporate 12 units of accommodation for people aged between 16-24 who are involved in racing.

Further information on the Virtual Yorkshire Open Day, along with a registration form and free online programme, is available at