Time to saddle up for the Donkey Derby

TRADITIONAL: Caitlyn Alford, right, on Rosie, and her friend Auria Peach, 11, on Rosie’s daughter, Poppy

TRADITIONAL: Caitlyn Alford, right, on Rosie, and her friend Auria Peach, 11, on Rosie’s daughter, Poppy

First published in News

THE races are coming to Bampton this Bank Holiday but with a difference.

Children, rather than professional jockeys, will ride on donkeys instead of horses in Sandford Field.

It is all part of the 45th Donkey Derby, with visitors betting on races to raise money for a trip to Dorset for 100 elderly villagers on Wednesday.

Don Rouse, 77, a member of organisers, the Society for the Preservation of Ancient Junketing (SPAJERS), has been master of ceremonies at the event since it started in 1969.

He said: “It’s a nice traditional event and one of those quirky things about Bampton.”

Trudy Alford, from nearby Lew, goes to the event each year with her husband Nigel and children Tom, 12, and Caitlyn, 10.

They have two donkeys but they won’t be involved.

She said: “All the village joins in and it’s great. Bampton is a great place for people getting involved and there’s a lot of quirkiness.”

Caitlyn, who may take part in the derby, added: “I like riding donkeys – it’s enjoyable because they are so fluffy.

“I’m excited for the derby.”

There will be six races of seven donkeys. It takes place on Bank Holiday Monday at Sandford Field from 2pm until 4.30pm.

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