A race to the finish line….

A race to the finish line….

Our beloved mascot Harry HOYS more than lived up to the HOYS reputation recently at the Sue Ryder Mascot Gold Cup showing strength, rising to the occasion and most of all putting on a great show.

I had the privilege of joining the HOYS team and Harry HOYS at the Sue Ryder Mascot Gold Cup and what a fantastic day it proved to be.  Taking place at Wetherby Racecourse were many incredible horses have achieved amazing feats, Harry HOYS lined up against 38 other mascots to take part in the world’s largest Mascot run.  There was stiff competition from a field which included the likes of Mr Potato Head, Lego Man and various other mascots representing different events and running for incredible charities.

I have to admit the whole day made my cheeks sore from smiling and my stomach hurt form laughing.  It isn’t a usual daily occurrence to see 38 people in dress up taking part in a walk round parade, dance off and then lining up to race each other over hurdles at Wetherby racecourse.  A brilliant day out for people of every age, the buzz around the place was contagious.

The day started with setting off from Scotland down to Wetherby – I have to admit I really did not know what to expect, I now feel like I have missed out on many previous years of top class entertainment by not knowing more about this unique event.  On arrival we were ushered to the mascot changing tent – not to spoil the illusion of Harry HOYS but there, Carl, trade stand sales manager for Grandstand media would make the astonishing transformation.  Once Harry HOYS graced us with his presence it was time for the parade of horses.  Again…astonishment at watching 38 mascots parade and interact with the excitable crowd who were full of laughter and anticipation.  There were many families at the event, great to see people of all ages come together and sharing in the celebration – appealing to all generations much like the Horse of the Year Show itself.

It was then time to bet on a Mascot…who did we believe had the prowess to bring home the top honours? Of course we were firmly behind our magnificent Harry HOYS.

Post parade it was time for the warm-up!

You may be thinking how do Mascot’s warm-up for the Sue Ryder Mascot Gold Cup? With a dance-a-thon of course, and with a prize for the best dancer on offer, the pressure was on! This was one of the most entertaining things I have ever witnessed, watching the mascots busting moves to songs like Dolly Parton’s 9 to 5.  Whilst the other mascots were dancing, Harry HOYS produced an exceptional dressage freestyle – full of character.

The main event

Warm-up complete it was now time for the main event, the Sue Ryder Mascot Gold Cup, mascots took to their starting positions.  As there were varying outfits with many restrictive or with feet which made running extremely hard, competitors would set off in waves. Lego man got the race underway followed by Mr Potato head, before the rest of the field set off.  It was hilarious to see so many mascots sprint off onto the course.  Not only did they have to run but they also had obstacles to contend with, which I can tell you with the poor visibility of many of the outfits was a challenging task.

Harry HOYS ran an exceptional race, not quite fast enough to catch up with eventual winner … But he gave it his all and put on a great performance. Watch the full video HERE

What an amazing day out!  It was an honour to have Harry HOYS run in the race, promoting the Horse of the Year show – the atmosphere around Wetherby was contagious and it made me all the more excited for HOYS.  I cannot wait to once again take in the buzz of the event and see so many people having a wonderful day out.

Remember get your tickets for HOYS now – trust me you do not want to miss this 70th anniversary year.


Until next time….

HOYS Ambassador

Hannah Eccles

Share this post


Don’t miss a thing. Sign up to our newsletter to receive the latest on competitions, news and events.

By clicking submit below I understand that I will receive marketing communications from Grandstand Media in accordance with our privacy policy.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.