Carlisle's historic race day

The historic Carlisle Bells are returning to the race course, with runners and riders competing for what is thought to be the oldest sporting trophy in the world.

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And they're off!

Crowds gather to watch the first race Credit: ITV News Border

Several thousand people have turned out to watch the famous Carlisle Bells racing.

The annual event claims to be the oldest sporting trophy in the world.

Crowds watching the action Credit: ITV News Border

Carlisle Racecourse's general manager, Richard Clements, said:

Yachting's America's Cup claims to be the oldest active trophy in international sport dating back to 1851 but it is just a baby compared to the Carlisle Bells.

"The older of the two bells is from the 1580s and we will have international challengers competing for it again here on Wednesday.

"We are incredibly proud of the Carlisle Bell history and tradition, which pre-dates everything in racing and any other sport.

"There have been some tremendous winners and we are again looking forward to a great afternoon's racing again on what is our richest and most prestigious Flat meeting of the year."

Race goers queuing to place bets Credit: ITV News Border

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World's oldest sporting trophy up for grabs in Carlisle

The Carlisle Bells date back to the 16th century Credit: ITV News Border

The historic Carlisle Bells are returning to the race course, with runners and riders competing for what is thought to be the oldest sporting trophy in the world.

The Carlisle Bells date back to the 16th century and were first contested during the reign of Queen Elizabeth I.

Almost £100,000 in prize money is up for grabs over sevens days of racing.

One of the historic Bells Credit: ITV News Border
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