Each year, Rothschild Road in the little town of Emmaville, North South Wales is cleared for the sheep race, the income from which supports the town’s museum.
Approximately 100 sheep are entered into the one kilometre race. Each wears a coat with a number and the local people pay $5 a head to enter. First prize is $100.
The sheep charge down the street, chased by sheep dogs. Last year was a bit of a spine-tingler, because none of them wanted to cross the finish line.
The race is famous for its very slow pace and usually uncooperative sheep.
The whole town had a bet on the race and most of them were there to see the finish.
Fashions on the Field are restricted to the sheep. Past entries have included “Thorpeedo” (a sheep in a black speedo swim suit), numerous versions of “Priscilla Queen of the Desert”, The Runaway Bride, and rugby champions parading their favorite jumpers and colors.
The sheep are tempted to run for the finishing line by one of the organizers rattling feed in a bucket ahead of the flock.
Backers get caught up in the excitement as the race gets under way, cheering their sometimes reluctant choices to the line, although some sheep have been known to stop for a graze on the way.
ABC New England North West NSW