The oldest horse race in England originated from the reign of Henry VIII and it is not uncommon for runners to win more bounties than winners.
Kiplingcotes Derby, which takes place every year near Market Weighton village in East Yorkshire. The event is 500 years old up to now.
With only “a few carriages carrying tea” being convenient, this sports event has less in common with the Grand National than some of the more quaint folk festivals in rural England. Kiplingcotes allow any horse to attend and compete, without the need for a championship trophy. Purebred and “backyard” horses are lined up next to horse-drawn carriages and smaller horses belonging to local children.
The winner of that 500th race, Tracey Corrigan, could continue to challenge the most recorded victories, with 10 wins from Ken Homes, who also became the oldest driver, at age 74. But the records of the winners are not so smooth with gaps in the 17th and 18th centuries.
It shows the original rules, including adding weight to the saddle of any racer, weighing less than 10 stones (64kg) to establish a level playing field.
On the day of the race, rivals meet at the finish line and consider. A single bookmaker, Chris Johnson, has been in the race for years and visually appreciates favorites when they show up. However, it’s best not to run if you weigh a few pounds.
Then ride slowly back to the original post, before spinning and racing to finish. At the completion, they meet the audience, the numbers are in the hundreds and sometimes they come from far away places.
According to ancient rules, if the race didn’t go on for a year, the tradition was over. So even in years, when the race was flooded or snowed, a local resident pulled a horse around, so that the 500-year competition still exists.