Reindeer racing at Staffordshire farm

It was a day at the races with a difference when a Staffordshire farm hosted a special event – reindeer racing.

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At the races – reindeer racing at Blithbury Reindeer Lodge attracted large crowds for the one-off Easter event

It looked like Christmas had came early at Blithbury Reindeer Lodge in Blithbury, for the one-off Easter event.

Four races saw five reindeer facing off against each other on the designated track, which had been laid out on the sprawling 30-acre New House Farm.

Visitors on the day had the chance to meet the runners before picking who would win.

Each person was handed a token for their chosen reindeer and winners claimed a cuddly toy. The fees paid were donated to support Midlands Air Ambulance.

The lodge, on the Uttoxeter Road, near Rugeley, was traditionally a dairy farm up until 2007.

Stephen Swinnerton, also known as The Reindeer Man, converted it into a purpose-built reindeer lodge with fencing, shelters, stables and barns, as well as a vintage tearoom for visitors.

He opens the lodge up to the public for special events throughout the year including Easter. It is home to the largest herd of reindeer in England.

May is traditionally the start of calving when the venue is hoping to see the safe arrival of new additions.

Visitors will get the chance to go along again in June for the annual Meet the Babies event.

Those who went on Saturday may also have been puzzled to see the reindeers without their usual big antlers – these grow throughout spring.

The Reindeer are also swapping winter coats for summer coats.

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