Organisers are promising the biggest and best ever Sandhurst Donkey Derby on Bank Holiday Monday, saying they anticipate in excess of 10,000 people for a day at the races.

It will be the 37th running of this popular family event and will be held in the Bull and Butcher field on Yorktown Road with gates opening at 12pm.

Chairman of the organising committee, Andy Nevin, said: "Our first Donkey Derby was run in the mid-60s. Numbers attending that first event were just a few hundred but we have now recorded 10,000 in recent years.

"Over the years it has seen many changes. We now have a wide range of entertainment on the day, but the donkey races are the focal point of the event and remain very similar to that first year.

"We have made a lot of effort to preserve the atmosphere of a traditional fun day out for the whole family."

There will be a series of donkey races, where local children can be jockeys for the day, competing for trophies and rosettes.

Adults can have a flutter on their fancied runners at the Tote and every race is sponsored by local businesses in Sandhurst, Crowthorne and Yateley.

There is also a hotly contested race series in which local pubs compete in buggies — called "sulkies" — for the Taverners Trophy.

As well as a funfair and many other stalls, bouncy castles and rides, the entertainment will include performances from the Fiesta Steel Band.

And the final race of the day, at 4.30pm, will be the Royal Academy Champion Jockey Stakes, for the winning jockeys of all the previous races.

"We have been planning and working behind the scenes since last summer to make this an outstanding year for the Donkey Derby. We want the people of Sandhurst to have a great day out. We are very grateful for the wholehearted support of the Town Council in helping us with facilities for safety and security for all our visitors.

"We hope to see many newcomers to this family event, as well as our faithful supporters who attend year after year.

"This year will be the best Donkey Derby ever. This is a great family fun day, and it gives an opportunity for many charities to raise funds for their good causes," said Mr Nevin.

The first race is at 1.30pm and the fun continues through the afternoon.

Admission at the gate is by programme and will cost £2.50 on the day for a family of four.

Programmes are also being sold door to door in the neighbourhood at £1.50 in advance of the event.

For more information about the derby contact Kevin McLean on 07951 723 827 or email