At the same time as the Grand National took place last weekend, Millway House in Andover held its own racing event to honour the care home’s horseracing history.
While the annual horse race was happening in Aintree on Saturday 9th April, residents at the nurse-led care home in Andover, took part in their very own ‘race day’, and with Millway once a former racing stables, the event couldn’t have been more fitting.
Celebrating a horse racing history that dates back to the early 1900s, and ahead of Saturday’s Grand National event, Millway staff arranged for residents to watch a series of eight horse races on screen. Staff dressed up as horse jockeys and wore ‘race day’ hats, and residents cheered on their chosen ‘champions’. Winners were presented with small trophies, and everyone tucked into strawberries and cream. All then had the chance to watch the ‘real-life’ Grand National later in the day.
Claire Lousteau, Home Manager at Millway House, said: “With such an interesting link to horse racing, we always make sure the Grand National is a special date in our events calendar. Today’s ‘race day’ event was fabulous, and it was lovely to see all staff and residents getting involved – it became quite competitive!”
Already an established stables at the turn of the 20th century, Millway was bought by jockey Frank Hartigan in 1905. Frank trained at nearby Weyhill and went on to win many races, before retiring the house to a Gerry Matthew Balding. On Gerry’s death in 1957, the business was passed to his son, Toby Balding, who trained over 2000 horseracing winners at the stables. Toby’s niece is well-known broadcaster, Claire Balding, and his nephew is British racehorse trainer, Andrew Balding.
In 1983 the house was sold and Millway became the residential home it is now. And, ensuring the home’s important racing history is recognised, rooms and floors are now named after well-known horses and races, and pictures and plaques are displayed in a coffee lounge, detailing the care home’s ‘famous’ past.
What’s more, keeping Millway’s link to horse racing well and truly alive, one of the Andover care home’s current residents, Audrey Stent (95), once had the chance to ride ‘Nickel Coin’, a horse who went on to win the Grand National in 1951 – the most recent mare to win the yearly festival.
Millway House is part of Sears Healthcare and CEO Richard Adams is pleased to see that residents have had the chance to celebrate the home’s racing history.
He said: “What a great event to recognise Millway’s special horseracing past. It’s wonderful to hear how much fun everyone had today.
“At Millway House, we are a nurse-led care home, so our approach focuses on providing a home-from-home for our residents while we meet their healthcare needs. I’m glad staff are making sure the Grand National doesn’t go unnoticed each year.”
Situated on the outskirts of Weyhill near Andover, Millway House offers excellent accommodation for nursing, dementia and end of life care.
For more information, visit www.millwayhouse.co.uk.