WIVES, girlfriends and husbands could end up in the mud if their partners take a fall in Faringdon’s first wife-carrying contest.

The bizarre competition is being staged as a fundraiser for the town’s arts festival FollyFest.

Organisers are hoping to raise £10,000 to cover the cost of the festival on August 1-3 so they are staging a country sports afternoon on Sunday, May 25.

So far they have raised just under £3,000 and hope the sports day at Faringdon Cricket Club in Stanford Road will help them to raise the rest.

Mum-of-two Fiona Merrick, 49, who lives in the town with husband Alan, 61, is asking pubs in the area to put forward teams for the contest in which couples will be asked to complete an 831ft course including a water jump.

Wives must be over 17 and weigh more than 108lb and there will be a weigh-in for all wives, although “wives” in the contest do not have to be female. The prize for the fastest couple will be a barrel of beer.

Tessa Disney, 26, from Faringdon, is a barmaid at the Cellar Bar in Market Place.

She checked out the course with Mark Blatch, 50, who runs the bar.

Miss Disney, who is dating Ashley Streeton, said: “I’m 5ft 4in and I weigh about eight stone so I would like to think a big chap could carry me over the course.”

Bands playing at the festival include The Original Rabbit Foot Spasm Band, The Wirebirds and The White Horse Whisperers.

It costs £10 to enter the competition.

Email events@follyfest.co.uk