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Rydal sheepdog trials bring crowds flocking
THE spectacular setting of Rydal Park was taken over by man’s best friend for the 110th Vale of Rydal Sheepdog Trials and Hound Show.
The day-long contest began with The Rydal Class Novice Sheepdog Trials before The Le Fleming Stakes Advanced Sheepdog Trials took centre stage.
Sheepdogs were not the only dogs on show: beagles, terriers, foxhounds and harriers also competed to win coveted championship prizes.
Sarah Hoggarth, who has been secretary of the event for 20 years, was pleased that some 2,000 people had turned out to watch the action under cloudy skies.
“It’s been a successful day, considering the weather,” she said. “I think we’ve had a good turn-out.”
The trials were a popular attraction and onlookers were thoroughly entertained – especially when one of the sheep managed to jump a fence and run through the crowd.
Lesley Penswick, from Little Eccleston in Lancashire, has been a keen competitor for years and had two sheepdogs taking part in the trials, Ross and Lewis.
She described Ross, three, as ‘the handsomest dog on the course’ – and he rounded up the four sheep in just under five minutes.
The retired farmer’s wife said: “I have been coming to Rydal for about 20 years. I enjoy the day.
“The sheep are wild and the people who organise it are great. It’s such a relaxed day, I love coming.”
First place in coveted The Le Fleming Stakes went to Michael Longton, from Quernmore, near Lancaster, with his dog Don, who was awarded 75 points by judge Alan Bradley.
Thomas Longton from the same area, scooped top prize for double dogs in The Le Fleming Stakes with Tot and Spot.
And Arthur Temple, from Holmrook, Cumbria, took home first prize, winning The Rydal Class 2 trial with Flyn.
There were other attractions for all to enjoy, ranging from trade stands from Westmorland Sheepskins and homemade fudge, to a tombola and a popular beer tent.
During the day, owners and their dogs took part in hound trailing with puppies taking part in a trail in the afternoon.
The show attracted fans from around the world with a mixture of people new to the show and those that have been returning for years.
Paul and Lynn Booth, from Gateshead, South Tyneside, brought their own sheepdog, Spike, to watch the show.
“We’ve been on holiday for a few days and heard about the show, so thought we’d pop in before we went home,” said Paul.
“We’ve been to a few around the country but this is the first time we have been to Rydal.
“We’ve enjoyed the day – the trials have been great, and the beer tent was good too!”
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