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The Henry Cecil Open Weekend


About the Henry Cecil Open Weekend

The Henry Cecil Open Weekend  takes place on Saturday 18th  and Sunday 19th September. This amazing event, named after the great and much missed Sir Henry Cecil, is when  Newmarket racehorse trainers open their doors to celebrate the life of Sir Henry Cecil and to raise money for local charities. The weekend is a fantastic opportunity to visit the town of Newmarket and go behind the scenes at British Horse Racing’s HQ.

As well as raising money for local charities, including  Racing Welfare, Newmarket Pony Academy and the Yellow Brick Road Community Project, the weekend is  also part of National Racehorse Week, a nationwide initiative to celebrate the racehorse and showcase the excellent care and attention they receive each day.

The line-up

  • Access and tours to Newmarket’s integral equine sites on Saturday, include the British Racing School, the IJF’s fitness and rehabilitation centre – Peter O’Sullevan House. There will also be tours of the Jockey Club Rooms as well as the opportunity to meet the resident mares and stallions at The National Stud on a 90 minute guided tour with Discover Newmarket.  Spaces on these tours are free, (once you have purchased a festival wristband) and must be pre-booked by emailing:
  • Saturday sees the return of racing at the Rowley Mile with the Cesarewitch Trail Day where they will be holding the  2021 Henry Cecil Commentator Challenge, sponsored by Dr Johnny Hon. 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 this entertaining competition, which was first staged in 2015.


  • General admission to the National Horseracing Museum is reduced to £7.50 during the weekend when you show your Open Weekend wristband. This includes entrance to the museum, behind the scenes tours, access to the three special exhibitions, meeting their ex-racehorses, and a ride on the racehorse simulator.  You also have the chance to meet former champion sprinter Battaash.  Shadwell’s seven-year-old who 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.


  • An action-packed Sunday starts on Warren Hill Gallops, sponsored by Tattersalls, where fans can watch superstars such as Palace Pier, Mishriff and Stardivarius, to name just a few, being put through their paces between 8am – 9am on the famous Newmarket Heath.
  • Then there is the chance to visit some of the  30 trainers yards which will be opening their doors  to the public from 9am – 12:30pm. This year’s line-up includes: William Jarvis, Amy Murphy, Hugo Palmer, Richard Spencer, David Simcock, Tom Clover, George Boughey, Harry Eustace, Ed Dunlop, Charlie Fellowes, and Godolphin’s Saeed bin Suroor (9am-10:30am only).  Whilst visitors are encouraged to walk to the yards where possible, a series of buses, departing from The Severals, will be available to hop onto so that everyone can have the chance to visit as many yards as possible.

In the afternoon, from 2 pm onwards ,there will be a whole host of events at The Severals including the hotly anticipated Pony Club Games, sponsored by Qatar Racing, which kicks off proceedings in the main arena. This is an inter-yard competition like no other as trainers, jockeys, stable staff, and kids, all get involved in classic gymkhana team games.

There is the chance to 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?

And not forgetting the Fun Dog Show (sponsored by Shadwell), and the Terrier Racing which along with side stalls and food outlets, makes for a family fun afternoon for everyone.


How to Obtain Tickets?

  • 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 physical sites across the weekend, including The Severals. Children aged 16 years of age and under go FREE all weekend.
  • Please visit for more information and to buy tickets.