Malton Lion Wins Camel Race

Lion Brian leads the field

Malton, Norton & District Lions Club are well known for their support of The Festival of Racing which showcases the racing industry in the two towns, but on 17th August Lion Brian Abbott stretched the link to racing to its limits when he took part in a Camel Race at the famous Beverley Race Course to raise money for Save the Children – and WON!

Hot on the heels of the previous Wednesday’s glamorous Ladies’ Day, the hilarious Reckitt Benckiser Save the Children Charity Camel Derby was the curtain-raiser to Thursday afternoon’s horse racing. Eight intrepid volunteers including Lion Brian, an Equine Vet, lined up to race camels in two heats and a final at the Westwood track.

One of the jockeys notes that

“The camels are prone to bucking, bronking and changing direction when they feel like it so the spectators are in for a treat. It’s a very unusual sight to see camels running up the Westwood. We’re used to racing unusual things, we’ve had donkey and dog races, but the camels really are the most outlandish thing. It’s the way the camels move, it’s totally bizarre. They can be a bit lazier than the horses, they buck a bit so it could be a bumpy ride.”

In the Winner’s Enclosure at Beverley Race Course

The race was over a furlong for a bucket of feed at the finish. Lion Brian’s steed made a steady start but enthused by the sight of the feed at the finish line came from behind under Lion Brian’s tutored eye and vast racing experience to take it by a length. And in winning Lion Brian also raised over £3,000 for Save The Children.

The history of thoroughbred Horse Racing in Norton, Malton and the surrounding area dates back to the 1600s. Langton Wold Racecourse meetings are recorded from before 1692 and by the time of its loss to enclosure and the plough in 1862, Langton Wold had come to be regarded as one of the finest courses in England. Trainer John Scott dominated the sport between 1832 and 1862 winning nearly ever classic! His stables were at Whitewall. When William L’Annson’s Blink Bonnie won the Epsom Derby in 1857 “Malton Church bells rang… and the pubs stayed open all night”.

Today, the history of horse training continues with both Langton Wold and Highfield being used as gallops for the racing fraternity in the Norton and Malton area. There are currently more than 20 trainers in the area.

Malton Lions will be out in force for this year’s Festival of Racing on 17th September – please come along, say hello to the Lions and have a great day out. Click here for more information and to find out how to win tickets.

(Pictures from Beverley Race Course’s Facebook page)