A thriller at the tiller race in Arkansas

The annual event pairs high-speed racers and their garden tillers.

EMERSON (REUTERS) - Racers kick into high gear at this year's World Championship Rotary Tiller Race in Emerson, Arkansas.

Every year the participants of the race grab the handlebars and dash behind their farm tillers across the 61-metre long dirt course.

"Gonna be a dry track, gonna be a fast track and we are hoping to see some real good competition here today," said organizer Bill Dailey before the race.

"We are going to be running these tillers across the finish line and see who can get there the fastest without falling," said racer Courtney Davies.

"We are just a bunch of Arkansas hillbillies getting together and racing tiller and making them go fast," added racer Ricky Pepper.

The race is one of the biggest attractions at the Purple Hull Pea Festival, which began back in 1990. And over the years, organizers have introduced a number a few basic safety rules.

This year's champion title for the women went to Courtney Davis.

The men's champion is Trevor Ridling.

"Finally happy, all these years coming in second places I finally came in first place, took a fall for it but it was all worth it in the end," he said.

The winners take home a trophy, bragging rights and US$500 (S$677).