Get set for mascot race

James Skelding, of Illingworth, dressed as Sonny the Sunflower
James Skelding, of Illingworth, dressed as Sonny the Sunflower

A Halifax man will be swapping horsepower for leg power when he takes to the track in fancy dress in a race with a difference.

James Skelding is taking part in the world’s largest mascot race at Wetherby Racecourse on Sunday as Sonny the Sunflower on behalf of the Sue Ryder charity.

When not working at the Swalesmoor-based Leo Group as a transport administrator, Mr Skelding, of Illingworth, is more used to racing around Donington Park on his motorbike than galloping around Wetherby Racecourse.

More than 80 of the UK’s top mascots will take part in the one furlong race over eight fences.

It is the first time in the race for James, who also competes when on two wheels in the No Limits Racing Championship.

He said: “Running with leg power instead of horse power at speeds never seen before at Wetherby, I am hoping that our famous flower will put all the competition in the shade and have his day in the sun as number one this weekend.”

Group Property Manager for the Leo Group, Brian Maguire, said: “The work of the Sue Ryder charity touches the lives of so many people at the heart of our local community that we are supporting them again this year.

James’s efforts can be supported at