SHEEP racing? Ewe don’t see that every day.
Staff at Cannon Hall farm, in Cawthorne, have come up with the baa-rmy idea.
And yesterday saw the first race at the farm – with 6-4 favourite Red Ram hoofing it around the track to take first place.
Farm director Richard Nicholson told the Examiner it was a close photo finish between Red Ram and Sher-baa.
But Windy Wendy was the clear winner of the second race yesterday around the 250 metre course.
Mr Nicholson said the sheep make great racers because they are motivated by greed.
He said: “They are quite motivated to run when there’s food involved.
“They get a food treat at the end of it and we’ve trained 25 of them up to run around the circular course with four in each race.
“We’ll still have some food at the ready as they go around the course just in case they get all confused by the big crowds.”
The course, constructed in a former paddock, has eight hurdles including Becher’s Brook and the Canal Turn.
The sheep are all named and wear different colours.
They are ridden by teddy bear jockeys and visitors to the farm can bet on their favourite.
Mr Nicholson said: “It’s amazing how well they can jump and they can run quite fast because all they’re thinking about is the food.
“It’s obviously a lot slower than horse racing or dog racing but it’s pretty amusing and quite bizarre.
“It looks funny watching the teddy bears bobbing up and down on top when they’re running along.
“We’re just having a bit of fun with it for the summer at the farm for children and families.
“We’ve just got a new adventure playground installed here too.”
Cannon Hall Farm will be hosting five sheep races each day (Monday to Sunday) up until September 4.
There is one race every hour and entry is included in the usual £4.95 ticket price to the farm.
Those who back a winner will be entered into a prize draw to win a family ticket to the farm on Bark House Lane.