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Saturday, 25 October 2014

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Hounds blaze a trail at celebration of rural life in Cumbria

CROWDS gathered for a day of traditional Lake District sport as the 11th Rydal Sheepdog Trials got under way.

The event, at Rydal Park, near Ambleside, saw hundreds of people arrive to experience the variety of hound and sheepdog trialling classes taking place on the day.

The Le Fleming cup this year went to octogenarian Chris Todd, with his dog Tess.

The sheepdog trials enthusiast called show organisers before the big day to put his entry forward for the final time before hanging up his competitive crook.

Show secretary Sarah Hoggarth said: “He said he just wanted to walk the posts one more time but he won with 87 points – 11 more than his nearest rival.

“He deserved his victory. There wasn’t a dry eye in the house.”

Serious competitors dominated the field across the range of disciplines – with the sprint finish of the hounds as they pushed for home one of the highlights of this year’s show.

However, one of the races was declared void after the hounds overtook the trail setter on the course and finished in front of him.

Steeped in tradition, Rydal Sheepdog Trials provides a yearly meeting for enthusiasts of rural life in the region.

Visitors were able to see the talents on show in the carved walking stick classes and visit the countryside trade stands.

Mrs Hoggarth added: “It’s been a great year. We were up on visitors and the competition was excellent.”

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