An eccentric South Yorkshire farmer brought a new fleece of life to the General Election run-up as he named his flock after the party leaders and raced them.
Dashing Dave, Red Ed, Naughty Nigel and Comeback Clegg lined up to take part in a different kind of race as farmer Rob Nicholson named his Zwartble sheep after the political leaders.
Onlookers flocked to Cannon Hall Farm in Cawthorne, near Barnsley, to see Rob’s sheep race for the first past the post prize.
The farm held a special election ‘sheep stakes’ sheep race to try and predict who may win the General Election in May.
Rob, who runs the tourist attraction family farm, said: “It was very close. We had two sheep races, one won by Dashing Dave and the other by Red Ed.
“They were all great races. Red Ed stormed away in the first race and it looked as though he would come first but Dashing Dave nipped in front and beat him to it.
“Ed did go on to win the second race though.
“Poor Naughty Nigel didn’t take any prizes.
“He’s a real lazy one; eats too much, drinks too much. The sheep, that is. He didn’t win any of the races.
“It was all a bit of fun really. We decided to do it because we always like putting topical twists on everything we do.
“We’ve done an Olympics themed race in the past. We thought this would be appropriate what with the run-up to the election.”
Full-time farmer Rob, 46, who has run Cannon Hall for 26 years, said: “All the kids got really involved.
“Some of them were quite partisan cheering on the politician sheep of their choice.
“I suppose it’s a great way of getting kids involved and aware about politics at an exciting time for Britain.
“Although the grown ups loved it too as they understood the novelty of it all.”