HEAVY rain threatened to spoil the annual Vale of Rydal Sheepdog Trials and Hound Show yesterday (Thursday) but the noise of the barking hounds showed their spirit was not going to be dampened. Coniston Foxhounds huntsman Mike Nicholson said it was a very important and popular event in the Lakes. "This is the only show with all the six fell packs taking part and, despite the weather being like this, people are still coming in." The award of champion Coniston foxhound was won by Witness for the second year running. Her owner Neil Salisbury said: "She's won three awards today and I feel quite proud."