HORSES named in honour of a rugby league legend and a popular former Grand National hope will be among the star attractions at an annual Easter open day.

Racing fans from across North Yorkshire and the North East are preparing for a bumper day of activities at the ARC Middleham Open Day on Good Friday (April 7).

Local racehorse trainers are set to welcome the public this Easter, offering a unique chance to meet a host of stable stars and the staff who look after them.

The Northern Echo: A young visitor rubs the nose of a horse at last year's Middleham Open DayA young visitor rubs the nose of a horse at last year's Middleham Open Day (Image: STUART BOULTON)

Two equine names sure to draw are crowd are Burrow Seven and Beep Beep Burrow, trained by Jedd O’Keeffe and named in honour of Rugby League legend Rob Burrow, who was diagnosed with Motor Neurone Disease in 2019.

A host of family-friendly afternoon activities are also planned on Middleham’s Low Moor, with the popular former Grand National entrant Definitly Red starring in the Retraining of Racehorses show.

The full schedule for the day is:

  • 9am: Trade stands open at Middleham Marketplace;
  • 9.30am: Majority of racing yards open (shuttle buses in operation);
  • 10am: Karl Burke’s yard open;
  • 11.30am: Retraining of Racehorses showing classes commence;
  • 1pm: Racing yards close;
  • 1.30pm: Retraining of Racehorses display;
  • 2pm: Meet Trooper Middleham and his Corporal of Horse;
  • 2.15pm: Inter-yard racing staff challenge;
  • 3pm: Aiskew Equine and Pet Supplies dog show;
  • 4pm: Close of event.

Advance ticket sales are proving popular as ever, with the crowd expected to exceed 3,000 as the day approaches.

Money raised from the event will benefit Racing Welfare, racing’s human welfare charity, as well as several other local causes.

The Northern Echo: A horse takes a dip in an equine hydrotherapy pool during last year's Middleham Open DayA horse takes a dip in an equine hydrotherapy pool during last year's Middleham Open Day (Image: STUART BOULTON)

Multiple Group 1-winning trainer, Karl Burke, who will be opening his yard to the public for the first time since 2019, said: “Myself and my team are looking forward to welcoming visitors to Spigot Lodge on Good Friday.

“2022 was a record-breaking year for our yard, our best-ever season, seeing us record 119 winners and finish sixth in the overall UK trainers’ championship.

"Visitors to the open day will be able to meet many of those winners, including Royal Ascot Queen Mary Stakes winner Dramatised, and gain some insight into how we prepare our horses for the big day.

“We hope everyone has a great open day and enjoys viewing our exciting team of horses.”

See more pictures from last year's event here: Pictures as crowds turn out to see behind the scenes at top racing yards

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The full list of trainers opening their yards is: Charlie Johnston; James Horton; Jedd O’Keeffe; Karl Burke; Micky Hammond; and Neil Mechie.

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Tickets remain available to purchase at a discounted advance rate of £12.50 until midnight on Thursday (April 6). Under 16’s go free. Entries for the Aiskew Equine and Pet Supplies dog show can also be made online.

  • Visit for further information and to book tickets. Follow Racing Welfare on social media for event updates.