National Racehorse Week will launch a day later than planned, this Sunday 11 September, out of respect for Queen Elizabeth II, who died peacefully at Balmoral yesterday (8 September).

The new date is in line with British Racing’s decision to cancel racing due to take place tomorrow (Saturday 10 September), as the country mourns the loss of its sovereign.

During National Racehorse Week, members of the public will be able to get up-close to racehorses and tour the yards they are based. The Late Queen was well known for her involvement, passion and knowledge for horse racing — she owned and bred many racehorses and enjoyed many successes.

”Her Majesty The Queen’s knowledge and love of the Thoroughbred was unrivalled and we want to honour this by continuing with National Racehorse Week,” said Rod Stewart, CEO of Great British Racing.

”What better way for people to express their love and gratitude for The Queen than to get close to the very animals that brought her such immense pleasure throughout her life.

”Over the coming days, thousands of people will be welcomed at yards up and down the country. Continuing with this event is a way to mark and reflect Her Majesty’s lifelong love of racing.”

Half of young people have never seen a horse, study finds

National Racehorse Week is in its second year and the initiative comes as research revealed 50 percent of 18-24 year olds who live in cities have never seen or can’t remember seeing a horse ‘in person’.

Commissioned by Great British Racing, the survey highlighted that while 84 percent of participants reported feeling happy when close to animals, 34 percent had never touched a horse. In addition, almost half the people surveyed had not visited the countryside in the last year.

Those who do not usually have a chance to mix with horses as well as seasoned equestrians will be able to enjoy the events of the 2022 Racehorse Week from 10-18 September.

Over 180 venues will open across Britain offering the public the chance to see the care and attention to detail that goes into caring for racehorses.

These open days will showcase a range of activities from yard to yard, offering the chance to meet racehorses in training, as well as the much-loved stable stars who have retired. The trainers will host tours of their facilities, providing the chance to see horses exercise on the gallops, and on the treadmills and walkers.

 Places are mostly free and tickets can be booked at

Community events

In addition to open days, some trainers are working with their local communities. Dan Skelton is among those taking part, and will be welcoming 50 children from the charity Summerfields Stables, while Jo Foster is taking a racehorse to care homes and schools throughout the week. Some of the retraining centres are also giving demos on schooling a former racehorse.

We are a proud partner of National Racehorse Week since its inception and we know that being around horses has a positive impact on our beneficiaries,” said John Blake, CEO of Racing to School and Racing Together. “The week-long event has significant potential to connect people with racing’s incredible equine athletes and this year will see school children, care home residents and community groups involved again. 

“Racing to School, Racing Together and Autism in Racing are all programmes that aim to connect people with horses during National Racehorse Week and beyond. We would like to thank our many partners for their support to increase our contribution to National Racehorse Week this year.”

Jo Foster who is based near Bradford will take active racehorse, Sigurd, to visit two care homes, two schools and Lothersdale Young Farmers Club during the week. Sigurd regularly visits schools and care homes in between racing. 

Sigurd is an incredible horse, he competes on the racecourse, but also regularly visits schools and residential homes, which has become second nature to him,” Jo said. “I’ve never known a horse so able to relax and genuinely relate to people, from children with special needs, to older people in wheelchairs.

“For me, National Racehorse Week is about how we, as trainers, can help people and give back to the community. These wonderful horses offer us so much more than winning races: they put smiles on people’s faces and can genuinely help people who are feeling sad, lonely, or isolated. It’s also an opportunity for people to come and see how we, in turn, look after our racehorses.”

Other trainers hosting community visits include Dan Skelton, Richard Phillips, Rae Guest, Richard Hannon, Daniel and Claire Kubler, Hugo Palmer, James Ewart, Jimmy Moffatt, Lucinda Russell and Rebecca Menzies.

Godolphin, who are a supporting partner of National Racehorse Week, will be taking a former racehorse to meet pupils at Newmarket Academy as part of the Newmarket Academy Godolphin Beacon Project, and will also host young people from Leicester’s Urban Equestrian Centre to tour both its Darley Stud and rehoming centre. The Jockey Club, who also support the initiative, will host visitors from the Rio Ferdinand Foundation at Pat Phelan Racing in Epsom.

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