The days are counting down to The Henry Cecil Open Weekend on September 18 and 19, giving visitors the rare chance to see behind the scenes at the headquarters of British racing and some of the country’s best known training yards.
Named after the great and much missed Sir Henry Cecil, the Open Weekend is thrilled to welcome visitors back to Newmarket with an action-packed programme, including the opening of 30 yards and the hugely popular Clipper Logistics Show Jumping Competition.
For the first time, this year's Henry Cecil Open Weekend will form part of the inaugural National Racehorse Week, a nationwide initiative in celebration of the thoroughbred that showcases the excellent care and attention they receive each and every day.
-30 trainers are set to open their doors to the public from 9am – 12:30pm on Sunday 19th September, including Louise Allan, John Berry, Saeed bin Suroor (9am -10:30am only), George Boughey, Tom Clover, Chris Dwyer, Alice Haynes, Simon & Ed Crisford, Ed Dunlop, Harry Eustace, Charlie Fellowes, James Ferguson, Rae Guest, Darryll Holland, William Jarvis, Gay Kelleway, William Knight, Phil McEntee, Amy Murphy, Patrick Owens, Hugo Palmer, Joseph Parr, Kevin Philippart de Foy, Martin Smith, David Simcock, Richard Spencer, Henry Spiller, Roger Varian, Lucy Wadham, Stuart Williams.
-Access and tours to Newmarket’s integral equine sites on Saturday 18th September, including the British Racing School, the IJF’s fitness and rehabilitation centre - Peter O’Sullevan House, Jockey Club Rooms. Visitors can also meet the resident mares and stallions at The National Stud on tours conducted by Discover Newmarket.
-General admission to the National Horseracing Museum (NHRM) costs £7.50 during the Henry Cecil Open Weekend when you show your Open Weekend wristband. This includes entrance to the museum, behind the scenes tours, access to the three special exhibitions, and a ride on the racehorse simulator. Any visitor wearing an Open Weekend wristband will be able to meet Battaash and our other resident horses free of charge when they show their wristband on Saturday or Sunday.
-Meet former champion sprinter Battaash at the National Horseracing Museum! Shadwell’s seven-year-old was recently retired after a glittering career on the racecourse which included four wins at Group 1 level and over £1.7 million in prize money. Any visitor wearing an Open Weekend wristband will be able to meet Battaash and the other resident horses at NHRM when they show their wristband on Saturday or Sunday.
-Some of the newest additions to Newmarket's training ranks will take part in the 2021 Henry Cecil Commentator Challenge, sponsored by Dr Johnny Hon, when the popular competition returns to the Rowley Mile on Saturday 18th September. Trainers Kevin Philippart de Foy, Harry Eustace, Ed Crisford, George Boughey, James Ferguson and Tom Clover will take on 2020 virtual Commentator Challenge winner Danny Archer in the competition, which was first staged in 2015.
-An action-packed Sunday starts on Warren Hill Gallops, sponsored by Tattersalls, where fans can watch superstars such as Palace Pier, Mishriff and Stradivarius, to name just a few, being put through their paces between 8am – 9am on the famous Newmarket Heath.
-Many famous names have passed through Tattersalls iconic sales ring, including champion miler Palace Pier. At 12pm on Sunday the ‘Tattersalls Talk’ will take place in the main sales ring. Hear from leading bloodstock agent Tom Goff as he explains about the sales process and provides insight into the fascinating world of thoroughbred bloodstock.
-Sunday afternoon entertainments will take place in the main arena on the Severals and will feature the Qatar Racing Pony Club Games, Fun Dog Show (Sponsored by Shadwell), and hugely popular Clipper Logistics Racing Personality Show Jumping Competition.
-The hotly anticipated Qatar Racing Pony Club Games kicks off proceedings in our main arena on the Severals. An inter-yard competition like no other as trainers, jockeys, stable staff, and kids, all get involved in classic gymkhana team games.
-To close the show, watch flat racing’s biggest names take on our show jumping arena. This hugely exciting competition has previously been won by some of Britain’s best-known flat jockeys, including Champion jockey Oisin Murphy and multiple Group 1 winner Ryan Moore. Who will take home this year’s top prize? Some names confirmed to date for this year’s competition include trainers George Scott, Amy Murphy and Harry Eustace, plus top jockeys Hayley Moore and Oisin Murphy.
-Prices start at £15 per person for a weekend wristband when purchased in advance on our website, or £17 per person when purchased from any of our sites over the weekend. Children aged 16 years of age and under go FREE all weekend.
Charlie Fellowes, Chairman of The Henry Cecil Open Weekend, said:
“We are delighted to be welcoming visitors back to Newmarket for the Henry Cecil Open Weekend. We have a record number of yards opening to the public on Sunday 19th September, which is a fantastic testament to both the weekend and National Racehorse Week.
“Away from the yards we have an action-packed two days of activities, from tours to entertainments on the Severals. Named after the great Sir Henry Cecil this weekend is all about celebration and we hope lots of people will join us and help raise money our fantastic charities.”
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