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Thursday, 23 October 2014

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Rydal Sheepdog Trials and Hound Show

UNCOOPERATIVE sheep and some early rain were just minor blips for an otherwise resoundingly successful hound show.

The 109th Vale of Rydal Sheepdog Trials and Hound Show was a hit with participants and spectators, who basked in the afternoon sun in Ambleside on Thursday.

But the sheepdogs had their work cut out for them as the commentator noted their less-than-intelligent flock was being particularly difficult.

Sarah Hoggarth, the show’s secretary, said: “Everyone is very happy – the show ran very smoothly.

“The rain at lunch time might have put a few tourists off but I enjoyed it, definitely.”

She said ticket sales were slightly down on last year, but that is to be expected given the weather over the course of the summer.

She added: “It was a good day considering the rain we had last night.

“It was quite wet at one point but everyone coped and the fields were in good condition.”

Rupert Gibson, of Newcastle and District Beagles, collected the trophy for Supreme Champion of Show, which was won by Wisdom.

Assisted by James Pound and David Woodman, he reclaimed the trophy he won back in 2007.

Mr Gibson, of Hexham, said: “It’s not Olympic gold, but it’s close.

“It has been a thoroughly good day and it doesn’t matter what the weather conditions are like – people come.

“I have been coming here since I was a baby and it is a lovely day out.

“It is a good crowd and there are people here from all over the country.”

Another winner, Sarah Mackereth, said she was shocked to pick up first prize after her dog, Westgate Gypsy, came first in the open hound trail.

She said: “She was coming back from injury so I wasn’t expecting it – I am ecstatic.

“We have got another dog to come yet, but Gypsy will have her rest now.”

Her mum, Susan Glaister, said: “The weather conditions were perfect – she loves the heat.

“This is a great show to win. We have taken over the legacy of my dad and he would have been thrilled to have won here.”

But Alan Bradley, of Ambleside, fell foul of the unpredictable ovine flock, which caused a few problems in the sheepdog trials.

He said: “I have not had a lot of luck this year, although last year was quite good. If you get four good sheep, you’re lucky.”

Meanwhile Claire Logan-Stephens, who has been chairman of the Rydal Show since 2001, said the show was a success and she is already looking forward to the next one.

She said: “It has been lovely. Although we had some showers the weather over all has been great.

“The entries have been great and everyone seems to have thoroughly enjoyed their day.

“It has all gone smoothly – we had a new class this year and we want to keep doing that because it worked really well.”

The young handlers classes were introduced for this year’s show and were open to competitors aged 16 and under.

But the organisers will have no time to sit back and enjoy having out on another successful show, with the committee turning their attention toward the next show in just a fortnight.

The date for the 2013 show has already been set for August 15 and meetings are already being planned to make sure everything goes according to plan.

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