BIRDS of prey took to the sky over Stratford Racecourse in the first ever speed trials to be held in Britain.
Eagles, hawks, falcons and owls raced against the clock to see which was the fastest in the British Speed Trials & Falconry event.
Actor David Bradley – not Stratford’s own namesake actor of Harry Potter caretaker fame – who flew into the limelight in classic 70s film Kes when he played a young boy who turned his life around after learning falconry, also dropped in.
He regaled fans with his experience of making the film, and signed autographs.
The overall winner was a Gyr Saker falcon called Blair which flew 300 meters in 14 seconds.
And organiser Tara Kendall-Sykes says those who attended the event were already calling for it to be held again next year.
Falcon racing is already big in the United Arab Emirates but she hopes it will become just as big in Britain.
Tara said: “The feedback we have received after the event has been overwhelmingly supportive. We are very proud to say that the first ever British Speed Trials & Falconry Event was a huge success.
“We have already been in discussions with Stratford Racecourse, who have been so supportive, about next years event.
“Falcon racing is huge is the United Arab Emirates and we want to make it as big over here in the UK, however we want to make it open to everyone not just the elite.