HIGH winds and heavy rain failed to deter plucky young jockeys from taking their turn round Theydon Bois village green yesterday (September 23).

Villagers turned out with waterproofs and brollies to show their support for the 25th annual Donkey Derby.

Despite torrential downpours and freezing temperatures, plucky youngsters took part in the usual seven donkey races in a bid to raise funds for the Theydon Bois Scout and Guide groups.

A sheep race also drew the crowds, while owners showed off their four-legged friends in a dog show.

Organisers were forced to postpone this year's event - which was scheduled to take place on July 15 - after rain left the village green waterlogged.

Committee member Nik O'Flynn said numbers had been much lower than last year's derby, which drew record crowds of 5,000.

"People were enjoying themselves despite the rain and the children didn't seem to mind getting soaked," she said.

"It was very typically British. Everyone was there, all the children were there. It was tipping it down, it was windy, but everyone was still there supporting us."

Fellow organiser Paul Vincent said: "The people of Theydon Bois were great and turned up to support us despite the weather."

He added: "We have been very unfortunate this year and it has affected our fundraising.

"We will be very lucky to break even, but that's the way it goes."

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