A HORTON carnival girl has been towering over her opposition for another year taking home top prizes from across the county.

Lily Cummings, 15, has been competing in carnivals for the last five years and has become known for walking high above the crowds with her entries on stilts.

This year marked her most successful entry, as she scooped both the South Somerset Cup and a first place at Bridgwater Carnival.

Lily was first taught to walk on stilts at Sidmouth Folk Festival when she was just nine years old.

She said: “As a carnival lover I thought that it would be great to enter on stilts. My first carnival was in 2010 aged ten, when I dressed up as an Indian princess using short, one foot stilts.

“The costume was from my dressing up box and made longer by mum. We then planned for the next year using taller two feet stilts. Me and mum come up with the ideas each year and enjoy searching for material and accessories to make the costumes from scratch.”

Speaking of her love of carnival, Lily added: “I love performing in amateur dramatics and feel that carnival is another way of performing. I love it. The support the crowds give you when en route makes it worth it, it’s hard walking that far on stilts.

“My stilts started breaking after Chard carnival so had to get new ones quickly. The new ones were three feet, making me stand more than eight feet tall.

“Mum had a hard job that week making the costume work at this new height.”

Lily’s dad, Chard town crier Stuart Cummings, said: “Not only has she gained a first at Wellington, Chard and Taunton Carnival as single juvenile walker, she has won the South Somerset Federation Cup and gone on to gain a first place at the prestigious Bridgwater carnival.

“And a first at Honiton and Ottery St Mary, plus a selection of other cups including best make up, mayor’s choice, royalty choice, best non-Devon federation entry, best overall walker including adults and groups. A successful year.”

Lily added: “Since starting carnival I have been lucky enough to win more awards each year and was very excited to have won the South Somerset Federation cup for the first time last year.

“This year has certainly been the best and winning the federation Cup again was amazing. The icing on the cake was winning at Bridgwater where I was hoping for a place at best.”

“I have enjoyed equally every carnival and am thankful to all the organisers for making the carnivals happen and for their continued support and encouragement to walking entries.”