Middleham's Horseracing History & Industry

There have been racehorses trained in this area for over 200 years but the Cistercian monks of nearby Jervaulx Abbey were breeding horses long before this. The first documented reference to racehorses in Middleham was the establishment of Isaac Cape as a jockey in 1733 and he eventually became the first specialist racehorse trainer here. Racing was established on the High Moor as early as 1739 and meetings were held regularly during the 18th century.  The last race to be held on the Moor was in June 1873 after disputes between trainers and local gait owners (landowners with grazing rights on the moorland). From then onwards the High Moor has been used only for training. By then though racing was an important part of Middleham's life and so began the history of famous trainers settling here and sending out winners at all of the leading meetings in the country. One of those trainers was Captain Neville Crump who turned out three Grand National winners from his famous yard Warwick House Stables (Now part of Mark Johnston's training establishment) - Sheila's Cottage (1948), Teal (1952) and Merryman II (1960). He also trained five Scottish and two Welsh National winners! Captain Crump died in 1997 aged 86 and is buried in Middleham cemetery.
Another outstanding trainer was Sam Hall with winners of the Ayr Gold Cup, Ebor Handicap (three times) The Yorkshire Cup, the November Handicap (five times) the Cesarewitch, the Lincoln Handicap, the Magnet Cup and the Royal Hunt Cup, to name a few - His niece Sally Hall now occupies Brecongill Stables.

With good modern facilities it continues to prosper as a leading training centre. There was a time in the late 70s and 80s when Middleham suffered a downturn in fortunes and there were some empty yards during that period. However the training facilities were improved and Middleham now boasts its own grass and all-weather gallops on the Low and High Moors.


THE MIDDLEHAM TRAINERS        Click on their names to visit those with their own Websites:

Chris and Judy Fairhurst  -  train at Glasgow House Stables one of Middleham's famous old yards ~ which in 1822 sent out the first four in the St Ledger!

Simon West - Castle Stables is the yard of this trainer - a small, friendly yard with successes in National Hunt racing. Syndicates and partnerships available and welcome.

Jedd O'Keeffe  - High Beck, Brecongill, Coverham is the yard of this thriving Middleham trainer of both National Hunt and Flat racehorses.

Patrick Holmes - Trains out of Little Spigot a modernised and refurbished yard situated between the High and Low Moor gallops. This yard turns out horses for both Flat and National Hunt racing.

Micky Hammond - Oakwood Stables is the yard of this ex jockey now a successful National Hunt trainer

Mark Johnston - Kingsley House is probably the best know yard here today, home of trainer . With around 180 horses in training and winners of some of the most prestigious Flat races in the world.  He is the first trainer ever to have 100 winners in ten consecutive
Flat seaso

Julie Brooke    Based at Brough Farm just on the edge of Middleham and set in 15 acres.

 Ben Haslam -  Catering for racing throughout the year over both codes. Syndicates welcomed.

Andy Crook   - Trains out of Ashgill Yard 2

Karl Burke  - of Spigot Lodge where thoroughbreds have been trained since the 1800s

James Bethell  - trains out of Thorngill, Coverham - once the yard of the late Don Enrico Incisa.

Sally Hall - Brecongill, Coverham, Middleham - One of the oldest training yards in Middleham dating from the 18th century and where  has trained since 1969. (no website)

                                                       MIDDLEHAM STABLE VISITS
                                For those interested in racing and the training of racehorses why not come and visit some of our local racing yards
                accompanied by a knowledgeable guide. These stable tours are only available mornings and have to be pre-booked.
    Available now from 12.50 per person

                                                For details or to Book please telephone 07775568374         
                                                E-mail address: middlehamracingbreaks@hotmail.co.uk

(Please note minimum age 16yrs ~ Also unsuitable for disabled persons)


Middleham Trainers Association

Click on the link to visit their website where you will find a video of Middleham and the High and Low Moor gallops along with
information about our local trainers.


Love Racing? Want to meet your Favourites?
A fantastic opportunity to spend a morning on the famous Middleham gallops,
meet the trainers, jockeys and the equine stars themselves.
A fully escorted tour - for more details visit their website:-

Phone:  07857379880 or 07857379878
or visit their website



Caring for Racing's People

Helping Racing People overcome life's hurdles

Registered Charity 
No. 1084042

  `Racing Welfare` is an amalgamation of the Stable Lad`s Welfare Trust, The Jockey Club Charitable Trust and Racing Welfare Charities whose aim is to provide support for anyone currently, or previously employed in the thoroughbred horseracing and breeding industries and their dependants. They have Welfare Officers throughout the country. Support comes in the form of help with a wide variety of problems, such as injury, illness, homelessness, claiming benefits, form filling and re-training for those who can no longer work in the racing industry ~ this is the other side of racing ~ For the lads and lasses riding out day in and day out in all weathers takes its toll and premature arthritis and rheumatism are just some of the occupational hazards they have to deal with ~ it is all too easy to take their essential work for granted but, unfortunately, if they become ill or injured few of them have anything to fall back on !  Many aspire to become jockeys but few will make it.  The care, patience and time that stable staff invest in a horse's life can be invaluable and pay enormous dividends but their own life in breeding, training and caring for racehorses is neither glamorous nor highly paid and their contribution goes largely unseen and unsung !

To receive information on how to make a much appreciated donation please contact:
Local Racing Welfare Office,
1, Victoria House, Market Place, Middleham, Leyburn, North Yorkshire, DL8 4NP
Telephone/Fax 01969 624123


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