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Like Formula 1! - World Hen Racing Championships get Derbyshire egg-cited after pandemic hiatus
04:23

Like Formula 1! - World Hen Racing Championships get Derbyshire egg-cited after pandemic hiatus

United Kingdom, Bonsall
August 7, 2022 at 17:01 GMT +00:00 · Published

Poultry and sports lovers were able to join forces and appreciate the World Hen Racing Championships 2022 in Derbyshire on Saturday, for the first time since the COVID-19 pandemic forced events to stop.

The race took place at the Barley Mow pub in Bonsall Matlock on Saturday. Attendees were in high spirits as they turned out for the event and plenty of people were feeling competitive as they entered their own hens or hired one to compete at this year's championship.

"It's a world-famous event and we're expecting that it will be nail-biting. I've seen the closeness - I'd say it's akin to Formula 1. So we're looking forward to that," said competition participant Simon.

Chief umpire Victor Launert explained that the sport originated in ancient Persia with peacocks, which were raced by England's Tudor Kings and Queens - until it was discovered that hens were much better at it.

"We soon found that the good old British Hen was a far more robust competitor and it's been taken up ever since. Royalty did follow this until the second World War but unfortunately there was rationing of chicken so the monarchs took up pigeon racing instead. But we are hoping that one day they will come back into this fine sport of kings," he concluded.

Like Formula 1! - World Hen Racing Championships get Derbyshire egg-cited after pandemic hiatus
04:23
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Poultry and sports lovers were able to join forces and appreciate the World Hen Racing Championships 2022 in Derbyshire on Saturday, for the first time since the COVID-19 pandemic forced events to stop.

The race took place at the Barley Mow pub in Bonsall Matlock on Saturday. Attendees were in high spirits as they turned out for the event and plenty of people were feeling competitive as they entered their own hens or hired one to compete at this year's championship.

"It's a world-famous event and we're expecting that it will be nail-biting. I've seen the closeness - I'd say it's akin to Formula 1. So we're looking forward to that," said competition participant Simon.

Chief umpire Victor Launert explained that the sport originated in ancient Persia with peacocks, which were raced by England's Tudor Kings and Queens - until it was discovered that hens were much better at it.

"We soon found that the good old British Hen was a far more robust competitor and it's been taken up ever since. Royalty did follow this until the second World War but unfortunately there was rationing of chicken so the monarchs took up pigeon racing instead. But we are hoping that one day they will come back into this fine sport of kings," he concluded.