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Hurdling sheep and long-distance running pigs: Tatton Park’s answer to London 2012 Olympics… Farm Athletics

By Matt Simpson

Hurdling sheep, long-distance running pigs and ducks doing 200m backstroke… these are just some of the events on offer as the farm yard Olympics hit Tatton Park.

As Olympic fever sweeps the nation, Tatton Park estate in east Cheshire has decided to stage its own sporting celebration… with a twist.

A series of athletics events, beginning Tuesday July 24, have been organised with the competitors all coming from the rare-breed farm housed on the grounds.

Three main events have been arranged, each with their own farmyard athlete.

A variety of pigs will be taking on the long distance runs, with the sheep tackling the hurdles. ‘Lightning Bolt’ Annie, the farm’s Hebridean sheep, has already emerged as the clear favourite in her discipline and looks likely to break the championship record yet again.

Track events are not the only order of the day as farm’s ducks will be competing at freestyle swimming.

The animal athletes have been training hard under the watchful eyes of Jayne Chapman, the farm manager and head coach.

She said: “Training is going really well and we’re really excited about farm athletics which will be fun for all our farmyard friends and visitors alike.”

Visitors to the farm can also get involved with other events such as the long jump and a school sports day favourite, welly throwing, making Tatton Park an excellent day out in the North West.

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