Did you go to Suffolk donkey derbies?

Star MemoriesKirton Village Donkey Derby and Fete August 1974Neg 40279ES 19.4.11

Kirton village Donkey Derby and Fete in August 1974 - Credit: Archant

Popular novelty donkey derbies have long taken place in Suffolk - as we discover here.

Newmarket, home to English horse racing since the 12th Century, has even featured donkey racing in the past. 

WestNewmarket Donkey Derby July 1988Neg 128787EADT 1.8.11

Newmarket Donkey Derby in July 1988 - Credit: EADT

An event in the 80s sees children leading the donkeys around while a big crowd watches on in anticipation. 

Star MemoriesDonkey Derby in Ipswich June 1968Neg 9201ES 20.11.12

Donkey Derby in Ipswich in June 1968 - Credit: Archant

And there was donkey derby action in Ipswich back in June 1968. 

From The Archives WestDonkey Derby at MildenhallApril 1968

West Donkey Derby at Mildenhall in April 1968 - Credit: Archant

Most of these donkey derby events often coincided with a fete or summer fair. 

From The Archives EastDonkey Derby at Woodbridge FeteAugust 1975

East Donkey Derby at Woodbridge Fete in August 1975 - Credit: Archant


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But donkey derbies have declined in recent years as safety regulations have changed.

FOR EADT FLASHBACK NOV 30Do you recognise anybody at this ‘Donkey Derby’ held at Langer Park, Fe

A donkey derby held at Langer Park, Felixstowe in July 1966 - Credit: Archant

The picture from the 1960s in Felixstowe actually shows a rider falling off their horse while several children look unsteady. 

FOR FLASHBACK JULY 12 10The Kesgrave Donkey Derby in May 1968.

The Kesgrave Donkey Derby in May 1968. - Credit: Dave Kindred

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Licences to use donkeys for racing are then issued by the local authority only after inspection by a registered veterinary surgeon. 

A Donkey Derby at Mildenhall in April 1968. Were you there?EADT 3.10.11

A donkey derby at Mildenhall in April 1968. - Credit: EADT

To order photos, visit our website or call Diane Townsend on 01603 772449. 

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