FAMILIES from Swindon were given a glimpse behind the scenes of the famous Lambourn horse racing industry yesterday at the 2014 Lambourn Open Day.
A 30-minute drive from Swindon, the open day has regularly attracted thousands of visitors over the Easter weekend, with opportunities to see elite horses at their training establishments in the Lambourn Valley.
More than 30 trainers opened their yards to the public, with special exhibits and demonstrations, including horses running underwater, in hydrotherapy pools. After a morning of rattling around the country lanes in the valley, going from yard to yard across the area, visitors were then invited to a central arena in Lambourn, by The Ridgeway Veterinary Group’s Valley Equine Hospital.
The main focus of the day was on the trainers and their yards, which are home to some of the most celebrated horses in the racing business.
Kauto Star, a retired National Hunt champion and twice Cheltenham Gold Cup winner, was at Oliver Sherwood’s yard in Drain Hill.
Each yard also had a silent auction item for visitors to bid on. During the afternoon programme, at the central arena, a parade of foxhounds was brought out, along with the Rockwood dog display team.
The climax of the day was a showjumping competition between soldiers of The Household Cavalry and some top jockeys.