Youngsters back the pony express race

Things have gone from strength to strength since the launch of "pony express" racing at Fakenham two years ago, and tomorrow young jockeys will be in action at the point-to-point.

Things have gone from strength to strength since the launch of “pony express” racing at Fakenham two years ago, and tomorrow young jockeys will be in action at the point-to-point. Susie Lyles, who is organising the event on behalf of West Norfolk Foxhounds, said races would be held from 5.20pm.

The youngsters, who must be under 16 and have ridden with the hunt at least four times, will race over a half-mile, wearing colours. A dozen are entered for the 13.2hh and four in the 14.2hh race. The main course will feature six good fields, including entries of more than 20 riders in the restricted, open and maiden, starting at 2pm. Entry is £8.

Bring a stout fork and help with the “treading in” after tomorrow's point-to-point, says Susie. She needs a large party of helpers to arrive at 9.15am on Tuesday to replace the turf and reseed where appropriate. The more helpers, the quicker the task can be completed, and then the team can enjoy a barbecue. Susie said it would help if volunteers could take a fork. More details on 01485 518340.

Once again the weather was excellent for Diss Stockmen's Club members' third summer judging event. A total of 43 members met at Roger Harper's farm at Weybread to judge Charolais cattle. The animals on show were all related to Weybread Tiffany, supreme beef champion at last year's Royal Norfolk Show as well as award-winner at the Suffolk and Aylsham shows. Master judge Gary Kent outlined the key points in judging beef breeding cattle. Four members tied on 50 points, but the eventual winner was Richard Thornton, of Wortham, a Limousin breeder. Eight junior members gained 48 points with no outright winner.

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Wayland Agricultural Society's annual dinner dance, held at Lynford Hall, saw 224 people sitting down to a roast beef dinner, followed by an auction of various lots. A total of £6,000 was raised for the East Anglian air ambulance.

North Norfolk farmer Christopher Harrold raised about £7,500 for the Royal Agricultural Benevolent Institution (RABI) by slogging through the heat at the London Marathon. He was on track to finish in 4 hours 20 minutes, but severe cramp after 17 miles forced him to a walk until he could resume running in aid of farming's charity. The response of the crowds lining the 26-mile route was a real inspiration. He can remember hearing shouts of “Go on, Rabbi!” which helped to keep him going. Mr Harrold, of Oulton, near Aylsham, finished in a shade over five hours.

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Members of Norfolk branch of the Women's Food and Farming Union plan to visit the Time and Tide Museum at Yarmouth on Thursday, May 10. This is an excellent museum where you can discover Yarmouth's fascinating history, its rich maritime and fishing heritage and some of the colourful characters who made their living from the sea. They will meet at 10.30am and suggest lunch either at the café in the museum or a picnic just outside. The trip costs £4.70. Call Felicity Daniels on 01493 730338 if you'd like to go.

Members of CPRE Norfolk, the county branch of the Council to Protect Rural England, are inviting friends and supporters to an open debate on Changing Farming, Changing Landscapes on Wednesday, May 23. It starts at 7.30pm, with doors opening at Dragon Hall, in King Street, Norwich, at 7pm. The event runs until 8.30pm, and Anna Hill, of BBC Radio 4 Farming Today, has been invited to chair proceedings. North Norfolk farmer Jason Borthwick will be speaking. The formal business of the annual meeting will start at 9pm. CPRE Norfolk, founded on November 29, 1933, became the Norfolk Society in 1972 before reverting to its original name a few years ago.

A sale of farm machinery in excellent condition attracted a large company of buyers to North Elmham, including several from Ireland. Peter Rivett, of Heath Farm, who also sold several unusual lots including some boxes of old beer bottles, which made about £5 each, also landed a bonus. There was particular interested in a stuffed pike in a bow-fronted case, which made £160. Auctioneer Mike Gamble, of Norwich-based Irelands, said the opportunity to acquire tackle suitable for a family farming operation generated keen bidding.

Tractor enthusiasts take to the road this coming bank holiday in aid of Papworth Hospital and the Holt Medical Practice equipment fund. There are no places left for the 18-mile run, which leaves at 10.30am and heads for the Blue Bell at Langham, before returning through Glandford by 1pm. Organiser Brian Cottrell, who received life-saving treatment at the Cambridgeshire hospital four years ago, said vintage cars, stationary and steam engines would be welcome at the Sports and Social Club in Kelling Road, Holt, on Monday, May 7, between 9.30am and 4.30pm. He is driving his Ferguson TE20 orchard tractor, while son-in-law John Everett, who organised last October's run from the Hunworth Bell, which raised £18,000, will be on a Massey Ferguson 35. The road run is being sponsored by Strumpshaw Steam Museum. The Foden steam wagon will appear in memory of Jimmy Key, who died in April last year. Details from Mr Cottrell on 01263 711096.

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