When news happens, text KENEWS and your photos and videos to 80360. Or contact us by email or phone.
Eden carriage driving family swap places with cowboys
A SOUTH Lakeland documentary-maker has filmed a show for a Sky channel based on an Eden family of horse carriage riders.
Legendary carriage driving team the Bowmans, including 76-year-old George, his sons George Junior and Barnaby and brother Robert, from Penrith, feature in a two part series called Changing Reins: Calgary Stampede to be shown on the Horse and Country channel.
Chris Hillman, from Whinfell, near Grayrigg, filmed the family fulfilling their life-long ambition of racing ‘chuckwagons’, which were historically used to carry food and cooking equipment in Canada.
In the show the Bowmans meet cowboy family the Sutherlands, who are chuckwagon racing’s royalty.
Mr Hillman, executive producer, said: “Young George approached me with the idea, and at that time I had no knowledge of chuckwagon racing or even whether the Calgary Stampede and the Sutherland family would have any interest in taking part.
“However, following a few transatlantic phone calls and a quick trip to Canada, everyone involved was on side.”
Episode one, which aired on Monday, showed the Bowmans heading to Calgary to get their first look at the Stampede Park and receive a VIP tour of the site before flying up to Grande Prairie to meet the Sutherlands at their pre-season training ranch.
While both families had a mutual respect for each other, the Bowmans quickly learned that chuckwagon racing is a very different discipline to their own and needs a complete change of rein handling.
Episode two, to be shown on Monday, sees the Bowmans arrive at Mark Sutherland’s ranch for some training before the main event, which attracts 20,000 spectators.
Speaking after the event, George Bowman described the experience as ‘like being tied to a spaceship with a piece of string.’ The show also follows the Sutherland family as they take part in a carriage race at Windsor Great Park.
After the championships, the families travel north to the Bowmans’ Cumbrian home where the Sutherlands are faced with another challenge — driving a 120-year-old stagecoach along the roads of the county before embarking on a Newcastle to Carlisle stagecoach journey along Hadrian’s Wall.
To watch the show go to Sky channel 280 at 9pm on Monday.