Derbyshire hens are resting today after competing in the World Hen Racing Championships this weekend. Held at the Barley Mow Pub in Bonsall, about 30 of the worlds fastest chickens run along a track to strict international criteria. They must have both feet on the starting line and fowl play (pecking/fighting) is not allowed.
There was the occasional battle, with hens receiving yellow and subsequently red cards if they didn’t pluck up their ideas. Most were well behaved though, and in first place and achieving the title ‘The World’s Fastest Hen’ was ‘Ever-Ready’, a rescued battery hen trained and raced by the caped ‘Henmaster’ Peter, and assistant Tom from Doncaster.
The area has a long history of hen racing, the most famous race being the Ible Hen Race. The races at the Barley Mow began 15 years ago when landlord Alan Webster decided it was time to revive this wonderful old tradition. Eggcellent.