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The Mascot Grand National is an annual race held over hurdles designed to test the mettle of sporting mascots from sports teams across the UK. The Kempton contest, which was held at Huntingdon until 2010, is taken more seriously by some than others. The National gives fans a chance to cheer on their team mascots and raise much-needed funds for various charities.
In recent years the competition has been dominated by Barnet F.C’s Mr Bumble, the Frankel of mascot racing, who won the event 2010 through 2012. His dramatic victory in 2012 saw Mr Bumble break clear of a tight pack and beat his closest rivals to the finish line by a considerable margin, as you can see here.
What goes up, must eventually come down, and that is as true in the world of mascot racing as anywhere else. 2013 saw Mr Bumble’s crown wrestled from him by newcomer Barry Barratt, the Barratt Homes safety mascot, who claimed victory in a surprise upset. Mr Bumble, our erstwhile champion, came in a close second.
The sport is not without its controversies however – the odds on Sedge the Field Mouse were slashed from 66-1 to 2-1 in the 2003 event, when it was revealed Commonwealth Games sprinter Allyn Condon was inside the rodent’s costume.
However Condon’s hopes were dashed when one of his’ mouse feet’ came loose during the race. It became obvious that differences in the mascot’s costumes can lead to certain contestants having an advantage or disadvantage.
Oldham Athletic F.C’s mascot, Chaddy the Owl, triumphed in the contested 2003 despite a female streaker ran towards the competitors causing Chaddy to veer off his straight line and resulting in many raised beaks, tails and ears amongst the other runners.
(WARNING: This video has nudity in it)