A sunny Saturday down by the river saw thousands of people come out to see the popular annual Duck Race.

The fifth Duck Race, organsied by The Countess Charity, was sponsored by Hickory’s Smokehouse Chester and Puddle Ducks Chester, Wirral and North Wales and saw 5,000 ducks dropped into the River Dee.

The event saw a record number of ‘corporate ducks’ adopted and decorated for the event. This year’s decorated ducks came in all shapes and sizes.

Handelsbanken turned theirs into a piggy bank, Bar Lounge’s was a Highland cow, and The Chester Grosvenor turned theirs into a bride.

Sarah Callander Beckett, The High Sheriff of Cheshire, attended the event and took on the difficult challenge of judging the decorated ducks. The winners for the coveted Corporate Duck Race prizes this year were: Facebook Favourite Liquor and Co with an intricately painted black duck by local artist Roxy Way. Allington Hughes Law took away Celebrity Lookilikee with a tribute to Manchester and an Ariana Grande duck. Best Dressed: was won by AGA Knutsford with Agatha.

Due to very high river levels, and a fastest than normal river flow for the time of year, advice was taken and the decision made not to race the corporate ducks on the river, so the Fastest Duck was decided through a draw, with the winning duck being Jordan Halstead, who win half a team building day with The Success Factory.

The Groves was packed with people who had come down to view event, take part in the family activities and watch 5,000 baby ducks splashing into the water from the suspension bridge at 3pm.

The winners of the Baby Duck race, who win £250, £150 and £100 respectively thanks to Puddle Ducks Chester, Wirral and North Wales were: 1st - Pink 1698 Beryl Furnival, 2nd - Pink 494 Catherine Edwards, and 3rd - Pink 53 Mrs Quayle.

Hanna Clarke, corporate and events fundraising manager for The Countess Charity, said: “This is the second year I have organised the Annual Chester Duck Race it is such fun and I can’t thank the Chester business community enough for getting behind such a fantastic event.

“Supporting an event such as The Duck Race through The Countess Charity is a great way to promote a business to the local community, the hospital community, engage with staff, your customer base and support a local charity at the same time.”

Hanna thanked event sponsor Hickory's Smokehouse Chester, and Puddle Ducks Chester, Wirral and North Wales for providing the baby duck prizes and for bringing Puddle down on the day to meet everyone, and to all the companies who adopted and decorated a duck.

She added: “Thank you to everyone who supported the Chester Duck Race this year and of course the volunteers without whose support events like this would not be possible. We had a great day and we have raised over £20,000 for the Babygrow Appeal.

“Thanks also to Queens Park Rowing Club for their help and CWAC for supporting the event.”

l For more details on other events organised by The Countess Charity that your business can get involved with, contact Hanna Clarke on 01244 366 397 or email hannaclarke@nhs.net