Cowes - Local daredevil Evil Medieval's plans on resurrecting his career this past weekend by attempting to jump the Carrollton Branch of Beatty Creek in a "State-of-the-art wooden ox-cart" ended in disaster as one of his lead oxen burst into flames just before take-off.
A heavy timber carpenter from Rookley and former ox-cart racer, Medieval thrilled crowds from Ryde to Brightstone in the sixties and seventies with flamboyant attempts to race his ox-cart up over ramps and go airborne over an increasing number of vintage ox-carts parked below as well as a series of spectacular bone crushing crashes.
Evil says his team of oxen, Jupiter and Lightning, were specially bred racing oxen who had been feeding on pure grain prior to the jump which may have caused a dangerous build-up of alcohol as it fermented causing the explosion.
"It's not unusual to have top-fueler oxen explode during acceleration before take-off."
"These are high performance animals, it's all part of the sport."
While his ox-cart was destroyed in the flames and Jupiter had to be put down Lightning was brought to safety and Medieval was spared from serious burns due to his flame-resistant boiler suit.