Mascots are under starter’s orders for a Manorlands money-spinner.
More than 60 entrants are lining up to compete in Sunday’s Mascot Gold Cup.
The annual event – the world’s largest mascot race – is now an integral part of the Wetherby racecourse family day meeting.
And since it was launched eight years ago, more than £115,000 has been raised.
Perennial participants such as Ronnie Rhino from Leeds Rhinos and Toby Tyke from Barnsley FC will again do battle in the event, which is sponsored by Foresters.
Steve Seymour, manager of the Airedale Shopping Centre in Keighley, will be taking part with the centre’s mascot Filbert the Squirrel.
“This is the fourth year we’ve been involved in the Mascot Gold Cup – it’s a fantastic fundraiser for Sue Ryder and also a great family day out,” he said.
“We have a stable of eight mascots this year, including two bananas which are publicising the fact Keighley is a Fairtrade status town.”
Several debutants are also preparing to race, including Tom Appelbee – director of Fenetic Wellbeing Ltd – as Keighley Town Centre Association mascot Cliff the Castle, and Dave Jenkinson and Shelly Hudson as the big black bear and the back end of the Worth Valley Young Farmers Club donkey!
Manorlands-based Sue Ryder fundraiser, Andrew Wood, the event lead, said: “Having so many local mascots involved is brilliant.
“The more mascots we get, the greater the fun and the more we raise for charities – in particular Sue Ryder, which provides such incredible care for those with incurable illnesses within the UK.”
Before the race, at about 2.15pm, there will be a mascot parade and presentations will be made to the best turned-out entrant and the best on the theme of ‘Yorkshire’s Tour de Fur-ance’, supported by All Terrain Cycles. There is also a Mascot of the Year prize – sponsored by JCT600 – will be awarded recognising outstanding community work.
E-mail andrew.wood@ sueryder.org for details.