ONE OF the country's leading horse racing centres is on show to the public today as Middleham stables throw open their doors.
The annual Good Friday event, opened this morning by local MP William Hague and Kathryn Apanowicz, the partner of the late Richard Whiteley, benefits local charities and this year will see proceeds going to a number of good causes including the Middleham Key Centre.
Horse racing has been at the heart of Middleham since the 18th century when race meetings were held on the High Moor. Today the town accommodates seventeen of England's flat and national hunt trainers with over 500 horses in training.
With the stable doors open, members of the public will have an opportunity to meet the winners and to talk to the trainers, jockeys and stable hands. There will also be a country fair, trade stands, market stalls and a farrier will be demonstrating his skills.
Refreshments and lunches are available in local pubs, cafes, hotels and the Middleham Key Centre.
The yards are open to the public from 9.30am -1pm, apart from George and Anne Duffield's yard which is open from 12 - 4pm.
Free parking is available in Middleham or nearby Leyburn, with bus links between car parks and the outlying stables.
Admission is £5 in advance for adults or £6 at the gate. Children under 12 are admitted free.