There will be a macabre feel to one of the classes at this year’s Bakewell Show.

Co-operative Funeralcare is sponsoring the UK’s first horse-drawn hearse championships in the main ring at the Peak District show on 4 August.

Managing director George Tinning said: “We have sponsored a team of heavy horses for two years, so creating this unique competition underscores our connection with these magnificent animals.”

Entrants will be judged on their walk, presentation, drive, tack and the condition of the hearse — which must be in working order!

Derbyshire-based carriage driver Karen Bassett said she was looking forward to it.

“We run a hearse business and this is a working day, so I hope we have one free on the day. But I have never competed the hearse before.”

Entrance is open to teams and pairs.

Contact Lesley Bain on 01629 812813 or Lesley@bakewellshow.org.

This news story was first published in the current issue of Horse & Hound (28 April, 2011)