Sydney the Seagull wins Sidmouth Horse Trials during virtual Folk Festival

Sydney the Scavenger steals a pasty. Picture: Kyle Baker

Sydney the Scavenger steals a pasty. Picture: Kyle Baker - Credit: Archant

A scavenging seagull called Sydney swooped off with first prize at the virtual version of the Sidmouth Folk Festival’s annual Horse Trials.

Liz Clode and Sydney the Scavenger out and about in Sidmouth. Picture: Kyle Baker

Liz Clode and Sydney the Scavenger out and about in Sidmouth. Picture: Kyle Baker - Credit: Archant

The Battle of the Beasts, usually held at The Ham, was replaced by a video competition in which each entrant sent a one-minute film of what their creation had got up to during lockdown.

This year’s 11 entrants – all based on the hobby horses or ‘beasts’ that traditionally accompany Morris dancers - included the Lymorrisaurus, Tatterwocky and other creations called Dobbin, Jazza, Nodger and Sullivan.

But the winner was Sydney the Scavenger, entered by the Sidmouth Steppers.

Sydney was played by Alexa Baker and led by Liz Clode, with Nikita Kay as the victim of Sydney’s scavenging antics, and Kyle Baker behind the camera.

Liz Clode of the Sidmouth Steppers with the winners' trophy. Picture: Kyle Baker

Liz Clode of the Sidmouth Steppers with the winners' trophy. Picture: Kyle Baker - Credit: Archant


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Mrs Baker said: “We had great fun putting it together and playing our part in the festival, especially as it is in our home town.”

The videos were shown on Sunday, August 2 as part of the virtual festival, and the Steppers received the Aardman trophy, created by Peter Lord of Aardman Animations.

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