Mid Wales

Llanwrtyd Wells Man v Horse race sees equine win again

Betty Gordon crosses the line first on Next in Line Grangeway
Image caption Betty Gordon crosses the line first on Next in Line Grangeway, 17 minutes ahead of the first man

The annual Man versus Horse race over 22 miles of Powys countryside has seen an equine triumph once again.

More than 300 solo runners, 111 relay teams of three, and 50 of their four-legged rivals took part in the 31st event around Llanwrtyd Wells.

Betty Gordon, riding Next in Line Grangeway, was home in 2hr 8m 37s, just over 17 minutes ahead of the first runner, Charlie Pearson.

The only occasions when men have won were in 2004 and 2007.

The race takes competitors through farm tracks, footpaths, open moorland and tarmac and attracts thousands of spectators.

By Friday night 249 runners had registered, and by early Saturday morning there were 100 relay teams of three and 50 horses, although more signed up shortly before the race began.

Horses are required to go through three vetting stations - at the start, the midway point and the end of the race and if they fail any checks they are disqualified.

Image caption The runners began the race 15 minutes before the horses set off

The race was affected by heavy showers, and Tony Egan, who organised it for the first time, said that had made the ground "soft and squidgy in places".

But he said he had spoken to many competitors, who told him how much they enjoyed the challenge.

"They said they had a great time. It's good to see how popular it is," he added.

The first woman home was Jenny Horne, of Aberystwyth, in 2hr 46m 41s.

The prizes were presented by Alan Hope of the Monster Raving Loony Party, a week before the town stages the Screaming Lord Sutch Official Monster Raving Loony Music Party, in memory of the man who founded the political party.

The winner received a cup and 1,000 guineas - although Huw Lobb won £25,000 in 2004 after becoming the first human victor.

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