First it was sheep and ferret racing, now Cannon Hall Farm is lining up hamsters and gerbils to race each other in little cars.
The creatures might be small in stature but the farm’s director, Robert Nicholson, is hoping they will be on the ball when it comes to entertaining crowds and believes it is the first time such races have been run in the region.
The hamsters and gerbils will run inside exercise balls which will power the miniature cars.
Robert said: “Visitors know our races are a bit different, but they might be surprised to hear hamsters and gerbils are taking to the track in little cars.
“Each car is powered by an exercise ball so the creature that can run the fastest inside its ball will win.
“They go at their own pace, which adds to the drama and excitement, and, so they don’t get tired, each hamster or gerbil will take part in no more than one race a day.”
Four hamsters or gerbils sporting different colours will line up for each race and will go along a course adapted from the farm’s existing ferret racing track. In keeping with a motor racing theme, the animals will race under names including ‘Rodent Barrichello’, ‘Michael Chewmacher’ and ‘Jenson Button-nose’.
There will be live commentary and a ‘bookies’ kiosk where visitors can choose a hamster to support and win prizes.
Races will run at 12.30pm and 2.30pm every day until August 30. Sheep racing also takes place until August 30 on the hour, and ferret racing runs on the half hour. Goat racing is once a day throughout August.