Newmarket ready to welcome visitors to inaugural Henry Cecil Open Weekend
Newmarket’s ever-popular Open Weekend has been renamed The Henry Cecil Open Weekend to celebrate the life of the iconic and much-loved trainer. The three-year partnership, which will begin this year, is supported by a group of previous owners of Sir Henry and will help raise money for local charities.
The Henry Cecil Open Weekend will remain committed to continue the event’s support for the welfare and development of young racing staff in Newmarket, primarily through the work of its main beneficiary, Racing Welfare.
Since the return of the Open Weekend to Newmarket in 2012, over a quarter of a million pounds has been raised for local and racing charities, including £115,000 for the Racing Welfare Newmarket Housing Project. As part of this project, renovation of MacDonald Buchanan House will begin this August which, once completed, will provide 18 units of high-quality accommodation for the young racing staff in the town.
This year’s Henry Cecil Open Weekend will take place on Saturday and Sunday September 21-22 and is set to be an action packed two days. During the Open Weekend visitors will get the chance to see some of the world’s best racehorses on Warren Hill Gallops, tour a number of Newmarket’s finest equine sites, go racing at the Rowley Mile racecourse, and visit the yards of leading Newmarket trainers.
Among the sites receiving visitors over the weekend will be the British Racing School, the Jockey Club Rooms, Tattersalls Bloodstock Auctioneers, Newmarket Equine Hospital, the National Stud, and the National Heritage Centre for Horseracing and Sporting Art. The stables opening up to receive visitors will be confirmed nearer to the date, but the majority of the yards in the town have been involved previously with racing fans able to see their four-legged heroes in the flesh.
Newmarket trainer Charlie Fellowes, chairman of the Henry Cecil Open Weekend, said: “We are thrilled to have the support and to be associated with such an iconic figure in racing.
“The Henry Cecil Open Weekend is about celebrating his life, raising money for some very worthwhile local causes, and offering racing fans the opportunity to see behind the scenes. We are very much looking forward to welcoming visitors here in September.”
Dawn Goodfellow, Chief Executive of Racing Welfare, commented: “The Henry Cecil Open Weekend is a standout occasion in the calendar each year and is one that we are very grateful to benefit from.
“The renovation of MacDonald Buchanan House is a key project in the town and funds raised by the event will help us in our aim to ensure that young people working in racing have the best possible start to their careers by the provision of high-quality, safe accommodation. We hope that the Henry Cecil Open Weekend is a huge success this year and thank the committee for their ongoing support of Racing Welfare.”