Wiltshire Publications

Donkey Derby welcomes biggest crowd to date

Around 600 people joined the Westbury Lions again this year for their annual ‘Donkey Derby’ on Sunday 10th June raising over £5,000 that will be put back into the Westbury community.

As well as the unforgettable donkey races that see children riding their noble steads across the finishing line, helping people to win money, a sense of community filled the event as organisations joined together to show what Westbury has to offer.

Westbury Lion, Nigel Coward said, “It was amazing! Definitely the most people I have ever seen at a donkey derby; from information on the gates it was around 500-600 people. It was lovely to see, and everyone have a thoroughly good time.”

Attractions for visitors included Star Wars characters by the MK Garrison group, who were a big hit with children and adults alike. Dr. Emmett Brown and his DeLorean car, played by Luke Palmer, also came back to the future. There were also stallholders with raffles, selling homemade products, books, sweets and traditional fairground prize winning entertainment.

The winner of the final  donkey race was Annabelle Faulkner, aged 9 from Upton Scudamore, who received a trophy from Lions president Angie Fawcett.

“It went smoothly and we had some lovely feedback from stallholders.” Nigel continued.

“The donkeys were great as they always are, and there were no accidents. We are so lucky with the donkeys, Richard Warburton and his team from Weston-Super-Mare are great and you can tell they are well cared for and their welfare is his top priority. I think people appreciate that when they come to events like this.

“Plus, it is great entertainment and the tote tent brings about excitement for people, betting on their favourites. I am over the moon with how this year went and I am so glad that Angie, our president, goes out with a bang after being president – she has had a great year.

“This event isn’t just about raising money, it is inviting people to come to our event and get people involved and interested in other communities, which is at the heart of what the Lions do.”

Angie Fawcett, who attended her last event as Lions president said, “It was fantastic, really good and really well attended, with people coming from beyond Westbury.

“The weather kept us on our toes as it started out cloudy and cold but turned out to be great and raising over £5,000 was just amazing, with more yet to be counted!

“I had fun as the MC this year for an hour, as Jarvis who usually does it couldn’t make the start, but it was great fun. It was lovely to go around and speak to the stallholders, with some of them holding their own fundraisers and I hope that they were just as successful.

“It was my official last event as president for the Lions and I have had an excellent year with so many highlights and I hope that as a group, we have made a difference to people’s lives – I’m quite sad to see my year come to an end.”

The donkey derby is already booked to return to the White Horse Country Park for its 14th year, on Sunday 30th June 2019.