A SUPPORTIVE community helped make the Isle of Wight Donkey Sanctuary’s annual Day at the Races event a success.

More than 1,000 visitors attended the Wroxall-based family fun day on Sunday, helping to raise money for the sanctuary, which relies solely upon donations, adoptions and fundraising to survive.

The sunny day began with a well-received performance by Lanestars Dance Troop, and offered a wide variety of activities, with friendly competition unfolding during carrot and spoon, wheelbarrow, space hopper and bean bag races

New this year was a race where participants were invited to dress up as fruits and vegetables, courtesy of the sanctuary's costume department, and a carrot relay that caught the imagination of staff as well as visitors.

Red Funnel’s Dancing Jim supported the show, doing his best Bruno Tonioli impression as he judged the Dancing Jim Competition with Strictly score cards.

The day culminated with the Suppertime Stakes, in which resident donkeys race back to their barns for supper, with Joseph and Diana the winners.

Live music was provided by Ricky J, Marie Smith and Double Take, with a special appearance from the Bloodstone Morris Dancers.

Tracy Hawkes, the sanctuary’s visitor service manager, said: “The support for Day at the Races this year was fantastic.

“There were several additions from previous events, with more than 30 stalls offering their support, selling a wide range of goods, along with charity stalls.

“Almost £5,000 was raised, which will go a long way to providing funds for difficult winter months, so a big thank you to all staff and volunteers, visitors, entertainers, stall holders and supporters for spending the day with us and supporting the donkey sanctuary.”