Gallery: Mascot Grand National

IT WAS raining cats and dogs on Sunday for the annual John Smith s mascot race this year, but in the end it was a bear from Saffron Walden Football Club that won the race. Fur flew as all 71 mascots from around the country scampered, crawled and flew aro

IT WAS raining cats and dogs on Sunday for the annual John Smith's mascot race this year, but in the end it was a bear from Saffron Walden Football Club that won the race.

Fur flew as all 71 mascots from around the country scampered, crawled and flew around Huntingdon Racecourse in a bid to come first in the prestigious race. Despite the poor weather more than 3,000 people turned out to watch the race.

Only four mascots bow-wowed out of the race. Suits were dampened, but spirits were not and Wacky Macky stormed to a second victory without paws.

The yearly event is in aid of the Willow Foundation, promoted by Arsenal footballer Theo Walcott, which organises days out for terminally ill 16 to 40 year olds. This year's event raised more than £2,000, but event organisers say that sponsorship is still coming in.


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Prizes and a crate of John Smiths were awarded to the first three past the finishing line. Dr Croc, St Neots Leisure Centre's mascot, came in two lengths behind Wacky Macky showing that the weather was kinder to the reptiles in the pack.

Leo the Lion, Huntingdon Leisure Centre's mascot came in a close third making the race a regional derby.

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For those whose legs were less spritely, there were other prizes on offer. Stormy Stan of the Royal National Lifeboat Institute walked away with 'Best Turned Out' whilst the questionable accolade of 'Ugliest Mascot' went to Lincoln City Football Club's mascot Mrs Poacher who also won 'Best Fundraiser' along with her husband Poacher the Imp.

Unfortunately The Hunts Post's news hound lost the scent of victory along the trail amidst the mad menagerie fighting to pass the posts intact.

Dave Allwood, the man behind the doggy mask, said: "I came about half way because I couldn't see out of the costume. I had a lovely day, but it's a pity about the weather.

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