Thousands of people weathered sweltering conditions to attend the 31st annual Theydon Bois Donkey Derby on July 8.

While sideshows, bouncy castles, a big wheel and swing boats provided light entertainment, at the centre of the show was seven donkey races, each pitting seven jockeys against one another.

The brave 10 to 15 year-olds fought tooth and nail to be first over the line, with some hitting the track floor presumably in a bid to make good their parents' betting slips.

New sponsors this year estate agents Butler & Stag hosted a World Cup penalty shootout stand which raised £400 for the charity kitty.

Managing Director Neil Leahy said: “A great day enjoyed in glorious sunshine and Butler & Stag’s first year as headline sponsors.

"As a local resident and business owner, we are privileged to be part of Theydon Bois’ leading social event.

"This will be remembered for scorching temperatures that tested the many volunteers and all those who help run the event. We are already looking forward to next year.”

Butler & Stag also donated a mini soccer goal to the village green to be enjoyed by budding footballers over the summer months.

Nick O’Flynn, Chair of the organising committee, said: “The ‘Donkey Derby highlights the true spirit of Theydon Bois.

"Thanks to everyone who came along to the event and supported us.

"I would also like to thank all the many, many volunteers who gave up their time to come and help - it would not be possible without them.

"A special mention this year also to the police cadets and SMK First Aid who did a sterling job.

"Also, to our sponsor Butler and Stag for all their hard work and team of volunteers.”