Jockeys ride Clydesdales for Exeter race

Tom Parker, Big Al, Solo, Ecco and Siryl all took part in the race

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Five Clydesdales have taken part in a charity race at Exeter racecourse.

The horses thundered down the home straight with the aim of promoting the breed, which has been given "at risk" status.

The horses took part in the Devon Air Ambulance charity race 35 minutes before before the day's main racing and were ridden by professional jockeys.

The closely fought two-furlong race was won by Tom Parker, ridden by Michael Nolan.

Shares were sold before the race to "own a Clydesdale" and two bookmakers took bets, with all proceeds donated to the air ambulance.

'Range Rover sport'

The horses belong to Tim Ancrum, of Adventure Clydesdales, which specialises in providing riding holidays across Dartmoor.

"They won't do what a racehorse will do, but then a racehorse won't do what a Clydesdale can do," Mr Ancrum said.

"I would say that they will do 18-20mph when they are really going. It's like a Range Rover sport, compared to a Ferrari."

The prize for the race was presented by actor Martin Clunes.

"It was absolutely stunning, stunning," he said.

"It's beautiful, and look at all the people that have come to see it, it's just great."

The number of Clydesdales have dwindled as their uses are considered limited since they were used to work the land and pull horse-drawn vehicles.

In 1975 they were categorized by the Rare Breed Survival Trust as "vulnerable".

Over the years and with the increase in breed numbers, this was downgraded to "at risk". There are now 900 in the UK.

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