Bradshaw victorious again at Northamptonshire’s Wild and Woolly

The muddy hell that is the Wild'n'Wooly scramble first held in 1932 and still going strong, a fine tradition for the county. This year thanks to relatively mild weather riders were not subject to snow and sub-zero temperatures of some previous years. NNL-181227-130402005
The muddy hell that is the Wild'n'Wooly scramble first held in 1932 and still going strong, a fine tradition for the county. This year thanks to relatively mild weather riders were not subject to snow and sub-zero temperatures of some previous years. NNL-181227-130402005

South African star Neville Bradshaw stamped his supremacy on the annual Wild and Woolly scramble, winning the race for the third time.

Thousands packed in to watch the race at Arm Farm in Blisworth on Boxing Day to see the 35-year-old, now resident in East Hunsbury, take the honours.

Winner Neville Bradshaw with his 2008 Honda CR450 prepared by former British moto cross'champion Neil Prince. Kitted out in Fox riding gear by Mick Berrill Motorcycles, Bradshaw is'reckoned to be one of the top six riders to come out of South Africa. NNL-181227-130502005

Winner Neville Bradshaw with his 2008 Honda CR450 prepared by former British moto cross'champion Neil Prince. Kitted out in Fox riding gear by Mick Berrill Motorcycles, Bradshaw is'reckoned to be one of the top six riders to come out of South Africa. NNL-181227-130502005

Five-time winner Jack Lee (32) of Higham Ferrers harried him all the way, the two ultra-smooth riders skilfully avoiding the worst of the mud that had other riders bogged down in frustration.

The lead swapped time after time.

But Bradshaw, who has won the event every time he has entered, proved that he is now king of this old fashioned mudbath scramble that tests rider

stamina and machine preparation to the limit.

Fifteen-year-old Chris Bailey (150 KTM) had the satisfaction of being classed a finisher in his'baptism of mud. A student engineer at Silverstone College, he completed ten laps. NNL-181227-130308005

Fifteen-year-old Chris Bailey (150 KTM) had the satisfaction of being classed a finisher in his'baptism of mud. A student engineer at Silverstone College, he completed ten laps. NNL-181227-130308005

Third was 21-year-old Joe Tobutt from Milton Malsor, now living in Stratford-on-Avon.

He was the only rider to match the number of laps put in by the two leaders (21).

His neat riding style marked him out as a potential future winner of this event, the world’s oldest continuously run scramble. The Northampton Motor Cyclists Club keeps the tradition going.

Fourth was the most successful rider in the history of the event, Ryan Griffiths, who has won ten times.

Rider Tim Wills turns his 200 Gas Gas upside down in the hope of draining mud and water out'of the airbox. His luck was out. NNL-181227-130211005

Rider Tim Wills turns his 200 Gas Gas upside down in the hope of draining mud and water out'of the airbox. His luck was out. NNL-181227-130211005

A stunt rider and car mechanic from Oundle, Griffiths put in 20 laps.

Fellow stunt rider Ashley Rilings (23) from East Hunsbury finished fifth, while his mother Hayley, also a stunt rider, finished 26th.

She is the only female rider to have competed in the event, first tackling this mudlark in 1988.

While there is no prize money involved, Jonathan Lee finished £400 better off after a private wager with his step-brother Chas Lee.

Jonathan finished seventh and Chas ninth, the Lee family dominating the event.

The youngest rider taking part was 15-year-old Chris Bailey who finished 31st.

He was the last finisher. Nineteen riders were classed as non-finishers.

The first of three mud holes caused riders most problems.

Several machines were all but completely submerged when riders fell off.

To drain mud out of air filters and airboxes many rider turned their machines upside down, in the hope of getting them running again, mostly in

vain.