IT is usually thoroughbreds that take to the racecourse at Barbury Castle Estate but this Sunday it was the turn of 100 human runners.

They made their way around the Cross Country Horse Trial in the Horseless Steeple Chase, which was organised by the Rotary Clubs of Marlborough and Swindon Phoenix.

Competitors could choose between a 2.5-mile, five-mile or 10-mile course.

Race director Geoff Beale said: “It went really well, we had more runners than ever before.

“This year we added a new route so as well as the 2.5 and the five-mile, runners could do a 10-mile cross country.

“Every year we ask people for their feedback and that’s what people asked for.

“About 25 people did the 10-mile run and everyone who did it seemed to really enjoy it and asked us to do it again next year, and said they’ll be telling their friends about it.”

As well as competitors, the event attracted friends and family coming to cheer them on and enjoy a bite to eat as they watched the races.

Mr Beale said: “There was plenty of room for people to come and watch and we had food and drinks and picnic tables.

“Obviously there are three races so when the runners aren’t running they can sit and watch the other races. There is quite a panoramic view – you can pretty much see the whole course from the spectator’s area.”

This is the third year the event has been held and all proceeds from the day are being donated to Rotary charities, Wiltshire Air Ambulance and racehorse welfare charity Greatwood.

Last year the event raised £2,817 and this year organisers think they have broken that record, raising at least £3,000.

Mr Beale said: “We’re very, very, pleased with how much we’ve raised.

“We’ve already started planning next year’s event and we’re hoping for at least 150 entrants. The more cups of tea and bacon butties the sell the better, because then we can raise even more for charity.”