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Last Updated: Wednesday, 3 March, 2004, 18:18 GMT
Race's tribute to loony politician
Lord Sutch
Lord Sutch's trademark hat and rosette will be remembered
A memorial to one of the UK's most eccentric political personalities is to be unveiled in a tiny mid Wales town.

The honour for Screaming Lord Sutch, who led the Monster Raving Loony Party, celebrates his long association with the annual Man versus Horse marathon which takes place every summer in Llanwrtyd Wells.

The sculpture honouring the man who led his party to unprecedented levels of failure in more than 40 elections will be unveiled there on 12 June.

The top hat and rosette sculpture will stand on a wall outside the Neuadd Arms Hotel, the starting point for the annual race which this year celebrates its 25th anniversary.

We decided to place the memorial at Llanwrtyd Wells because this was where he played his last concert before dying
Graham Sharpe

Lord Sutch was official starter at the race for 11 years - his last visit was just three days before his death nearly five years ago.

He would also hand out awards as well as taking part in gigs on the Saturday night after the race.

The competition sees up to 300 runners endeavour to outrun 30 horses and riders over a tough 22 mile course.

No man or woman running alone has yet managed to win and a never-claimed prize, which increases by 1,000 every year, now stands at 25,000.

Graham Sharpe, of bookmakers William Hill, who sponsor the event, said as well as unveiling the memorial the world's first loony marathon would take place in June.

Man versus Horse marathon
Hundreds of runners and up to 40 horses will take part this year

Anyone dressed as a loony would be welcome to take part , said Mr Sharpe, who has also written a biography of Lord Sutch.

"It seems entirely appropriate to us that the country's craziest race, in which horses take on humans, should incorporate a tribute to the country's looniest ever political leader," said Mr Sharpe

"We decided to place the memorial at Llanwrtyd Wells because this was where he played his last concert before dying.

"He also got on very well with locals and they took to him."

Born in 1940, David Edward Sutch changed his name by deed poll in the 1960s to Screaming Lord Sutch, 3rd Earl of Harrow, even though he had no connection with nobility.

His career as a politician began in 1963, when he founded the Monster Raving Loony Party and in 1983 he became the longest serving leader of any political party.

He was found hanged at his home in June 1999.




SEE ALSO:
Horse triumphs over man again
07 Jun 03  |  Wales
Man beats horse in race
04 Jun 00  |  Wales
Final farewell to Lord Sutch
29 Jun 99  |  Politics


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