THE Westmorland County Show is to return in a two-day format this year.

The hugely popular event is to see tens of thousands of people descend on the showground at Lane Farm, Crooklands, for livestock competitions, cookery demonstrations, rural crafts and much more.

The show was held over two days for the first time in its history last year – with organisers wanting to keep people more spread out amid the ongoing Covid pandemic.

Christine Knipe, chief executive of the Westmorland County Agricultural Society, which hosts the event, said the feedback from members of the public over the new format was ‘overwhelmingly positive’.

“They [visitors] were able to appreciate what the show has to offer much more than they felt they had done previously,” she said.

The layout was altered and the livestock classes were run over two days. These changes will be kept in place at this year’s event, which is taking place on September 7 (Wednesday) and September 8.

In 2020, an ‘alternative’ Westmorland show was held owing to the coronavirus pandemic. This saw cattle and sheep classes held over video link.

Mrs Knipe highlighted the significance of the show for the area.

“It’s a hugely traditional event,” she said.

“I think it’s very important socially, because people attend and have attended for many years.  

“They meet friends and they meet family. For a lot of people, it’s an annual gathering and a meeting with familiar faces.

“Economically, it is very important for businesses to showcase their products and services, to meet clients old and new.

“It’s recognised on the national stage for being a proper agricultural show which is there to promote and celebrate all aspects of farming.

“The Westmorland show itself really does represent livestock farming and the type of agriculture we have within our county and our region.”

Westmorland and Lonsdale MP Tim Farron said he was looking forward to attending the show this year.

He described it as an event ‘that really puts Westmorland on the map and showcases our rural economy’.

“It is a wonderful opportunity for local businesses and farmers to share their hard work with the rest of the community,” he said.

“The event is one of the highlights of my annual calendar and I can’t wait to see what the show has to offer this year and to speak and listen to my constituents.”

Mrs Knipe said there was ‘something for everybody’ at the county show and that it brought together ‘all manner of businesses and elements of the rural community’.

She said that, as part of the county show’s educational remit, schools had the opportunity to apply for free tickets for pupils.

Mrs Knipe said the county show team was expecting 2,000 schoolchildren and their teachers over the course of the show.

“We recognise that school budgets are always under pressure,” she said.

She also paid tribute to the team of more than 300 volunteers that worked on the ground ‘to make the show what it is’.

“We are indebted to those who come to help year after year,” she said.

Following is a list of the day-specific sections:

September 7:

  • Sheep and fleece classes
  • Alpacas
  • Light horse – ridden horses, Shetland ponies, fell ponies, veteran horses, retrained racehorses and traditional gypsy cob
  • Private driving
  • Showjumping
  • Goats – Northern Goat Show
  • Hounds and terriers

September 8:

  • Cattle section
  • Rare breed sheep show, including Young Shepherd of the Year qualifiers
  • Heavy horses
  • Light horse – working hunter ponies, mountain and moorland, show ponies, skewbald and piebald
  • Kennel club dog show
  • Pigs
  • Goats – Westmorland County Show
  • Cumberland and Westmorland Wrestling
  • Poultry section
  • Grand parade