Page last updated at 16:58 GMT, Friday, 26 December 2008

Barrel rollers race through town

Barrel rolling compeititors race in Denbigh
The barrel rolling event raises money for local charities

Several hundred people watched an annual barrel racing contest in Denbigh on Boxing Day.

Men, women and children compete in races, which are held in the centre of the town, and organised by the Denbigh Rotary Club.

This year, 28 men competed, with 19-year-old Aled Owen crowned the winner.

The event was launched 50 years ago by local Rotarian Hywel Owen, who wanted to stage some kind of entertainment to raise money for local charities.

He thought the barrel rolling races would cash in on the crowds who gathered annually to greet the Denbigh and Flint hunt.

Rotary Club secretary Gwyn Dryhurst Dodd said barrel racing continued to be harder than it looked and that there were some competitors who took it very seriously.

"That barrel has got a mind of its own and unless you can really control it, it is hard," he said.

There is a special technique but I don't share it
Winner Aled Owen

"They are empty which makes them more difficult to control.

"There are a lot of people who take it seriously, although they won't admit to it.

"We heard of some people training in the town's car parks."

Winner Mr Owen said his father had previously been a barrel rolling champion in Denbigh for 10 years in a row.

"There is a special technique but I don't share it," he said

"I will share it after I retire.

"I have been trying for the past three years and this time I was victorious."

The Denbigh and Flint hunt still forms a big part of the proceedings, and hundreds watched as dozens of riders paraded through the town on Friday.

Street entertainers and a vintage tractor rally also kept the crowds entertained.

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