EVENTS at a Carmarthenshire dairy farm took a sporting turn when Alun Rees decided to stage a Cow Grand National to raise funds for the NHS.

Although like many events the Grand National horse race was cancelled this year, Alun decided his friends and family need not miss out.

He runs a 300-cow dairy unit at Dan Yr Allt farm, Llandovery, with parents Hugh and Elizabeth and his uncle Peter, he is keen to build bridges between farmers and the wider community.

That's something that runs in the family too – his brother Carwyn is prominent in Pembrokeshire farming circles and sister-in-law Emily will be familiar as last year's Royal Welsh lady ambassador.

Following a phone call with friends from his student days at Harper Adams University, Alun came up with the idea of doing something with his cows to make up for the Grand National cancellation.

“My friends like horse racing and said that I should set something up with the cows. I already wanted to take a video of their first day out, as they always run and it’s fun to watch," he said.

“We decided to pick a few of the favourites, split them into groups and video them racing from the shed to the field."

Friend Jonny organised the drone work to film the event while Alun selected 15 cows and uploaded the pictures to a dedicated Facebook page for friends to place their bets – in the form of a donation to the NHS.

Alun said he kept the course short and ensured the cows weren’t actually being raced, but were just showing their normal joyous turn of speed as they were put to grass.

He had such a good response he wants to do it again next year, but bigger and better.

“It was about bringing people together and picking people’s spirits up,” he says. “It broke up the first three weeks of isolation and showed people that it wasn’t all doom and gloom.”