Moffat race day plan sounds a little baaaarmy

THE Glorious Twelfth is usually associated with shooting grouse, not racing sheep, writes Sally Gillespie.

It’s no joke – there are perhaps enough sheep and farmer jokes – there really will be sheep racing in Moffat on August 12.

A local shepherd will train the woolly athletes. Local businesses are sponsoring the six runs,which will be followed by a seventh to find the overall champion. And local farmers, one imagines, will be queuing up to offer the services of their zippier ovines.

The town’s first sheep racing event is the brainchild of the Moffat Promotions Group.

The group’s Thomas Macdonald said: “It fits in well with the sheep farming and wool production history in the south of Scotland.”

The sport is very popular in the south of Britain, he said, adding: “The races will attract visitors to Moffat for a fun family event.”

People will be able to bet on the galloping sheep and money raised will go towards the town.

Mr Macdonald said: “Advice from animal welfare, vets and organisers of similar events has been sought to ensure that the event will run correctly.”

He has not so far mentioned counselling for the shepherd.

Other events planned for the week before the races include films with sheep connections and the children’s television series, Shaun the Sheep.

“Local cafés and restaurants are being asked to consider lamb or mutton-inspired menus, and musical events are being planned. Other events could be a wool fashion show and demonstrations on weaving,” said Mr Macdonald.

“There will be entertainment in the High Street, a children’s sheep fancy dress parade and possibly children’s rides.

“Perhaps Moffat could knit the biggest woollen sweater in the week leading up to the races and get a place in the Guinness Book of Records? The day and the events leading up to it promise to be fun, exciting and something very different.”

Anyone wanting to get involved should contact the group by email at moffatpromotionsgroup@visitmoffat.co.uk or phone 07740 868049.