Ian Popham, Andrew Thornton, Nick Scholfield, James Best, Hadden Frost and Sam Twiston-Davies were onboard the heavy horsesFeathers were flying as Clydesdales battled it out at Exeter racecourse on Sunday (22 November).

Paddy Power Gold Cup winner Ian Popham, Andrew Thornton, Nick Scholfield, James Best, Hadden Frost and Sam Twiston-Davies were onboard the heavy horses for the unusual annual

For a while it looked like five-year-old gelding Frankie Doodle and Nick Scholfield would be victorious, but Midge came through to win in the closing strides under James Best.

“It was brilliant and all for such a good cause. It’s great fun riding them,” said James, who later won the Higos Motor Insurance Deal Handicap Chase riding St Dominick trained by Jackie Du Plessis.

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The Clydesdale geldings are owned by Tim Ancrum and Aileen Ware, of Adventure Clydesdales.

”All the horses were fantastic and they really enjoyed themselves,” said Tim. “It makes a change from their usual job carrying riders across Dartmoor.”

Spectators had the chance to loan a Clydesdale for the day and experience owning a “racehorse”.

Veryan Codd, who is a huge fan of Clydesdales, had travelled down from Leicestershire to watch the race. She was thrilled to be the winning “owner” for the day of Midge.

“It was such a fabulous race with a really great atmosphere,” she said. “It’s good to see these wonderful horses appreciated by so many people.”

The race raised at least £2,400 for the Devon Air Exeter Races 221115Ambulance, with the bookmakers – Dave Philips, Dick Oliver and Jack Bevan – donating nearly £1,000.

“We are delighted to have been chosen as the benefactor,” said Caroline Crear of the Devon Air Ambulance.

“Thank you to the bookmakers, to Exeter racecourse and to the Adventure Clydesdales. We’ve had a really super day.”