VIDEO & PICTURES: Longnor Races 2016

For more than a century crowds have flocked to Longnor Races, and Thursday was no different.

Some were there to race, some were there to bet and everyone was there to have a good time.

Longnor Races, action from the final

Longnor Races, action from the final

Race secretary Heidi Bradbury said: “There is still a draw for a community event like this. It is a tradition and part of Longnor’s history and culture, and so it is nice to see everyone here.”

The morning started with the gymkhana, pony races and junior competitions. Lucy Riley, from Hartington, took three trophies, Ella Woolley was victorious in two categories and Jasmine Bell also brought home the silverware.

This was followed by the harness racing, the children’s dream mile, motorbike races and a fell race.
Brian Riley has been involved with the races for decades, firstly through his work as a vet, then as vice president and now president.

He said: “There are not many places in the country where events like this are still going on. It is unusual, unique, steeped in history and a lot of fun.”
Winston Kidd, 63, from Flash, has been a regular face at the races for more than half a century.

He said: “It is something I go to every year and I like that it hasn’t changed over time and is done traditionally.

“I am really looking forward to the trotting this year.

“A lot of people do a lot of work for free and the greatest compliment you can give them is to turn up.”

Once again the races proved popular and the crowd kept growing throughout the day.

Chris Gilman, 46, now lives in Norfolk but grew up in the area and was back visiting his parents.

He said: “This is the first time I have been back in 21 years and it has not changed.

“I’m here for a bit of a bet and it’s great to see so many familiar faces.”

Simon Harvey, 46, and father-in-law Alan Johnson, 66, both from Leek, were there for the motorbike racing.

Simon said: “We have never been before but were given tickets, so thought ‘why not?’ It’s a great day and we both have bikes so we are waiting to see the motorbikes.”

Jake Binns, 22, of Waterhouses, said: “I’ve got half a day off work and I’m here for the beer and to have a laugh.”
Ann Dineen was holidaying from Wales. She said: “We were up here and saw it advertised and we are having a good day.”