Page last updated at 15:46 GMT, Monday, 9 June 2008 16:46 UK

Contest saved by the Silver Bell

Silver Bell trophy
The trophy was put into storage in 1977 when Lanark racecourse closed

Jockeys in South Lanarkshire are to compete for one of the world's oldest racing trophies for the first time in more than thirty years.

The Lanark Silver Bell, which is thought to date back to the 12th century, was last contested in 1977.

Hamilton Park racecourse won the right to host the Cash for Kids Silver Bell event on 11 June in a public vote.

It replaces the annual Saints and Sinners race, which has transferred to Ayr racecourse after 42 years.

Hazel Peplinski, clerk of Hamilton racecourse, said winning the right to host the Silver Bell was a major coup.

She said: "You can't invent historic perspective overnight and the resurrection of the Lanark Silver Bell has given Hamilton Park's big event a wonderful sense of history."

Royal gift

It is believed the Silver Bell trophy was first raced for 1,000 years ago, when it was gifted to Lanark by King William the Lion.

The trophy, which is the property of South Lanarkshire council, was put into storage when the town's racecourse closed 31 years ago.

Wednesday's contest will be the first major event to be staged at Hamilton Park since Vivien Kyle's appointment as chief executive, after leaving Livingstone FC.

Pop singers the MacDonald Brothers will perform at the race, which is aimed at raising cash for charities in the South Lanarkshire and Glasgow areas.


SEE ALSO
Kyles thinking big for Hamilton
07 Jun 08 |  Horse Racing
Hopes for sporting trophy return
26 Nov 07 |  Glasgow, Lanarkshire and West
Lanark hopes for racing return
30 Aug 01 |  Scotland

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