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Tuesday, 02 September 2014

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Carriage driving returning to Lowther country fair

CARRIAGE driving will make a comeback at this year’s Lowther Game and Country Fair.

lowthercarriage
Coming back: Carriage driving dressage in the main arena at Lowther

The original Lowther trials – often attended by the Duke of Edinburgh – were launched in 1973 attracting 100,000-strong crowds. The Queen sometimes attended as a spectator and watch her husband compete.

But the last event was held in 2008 when torrential downpours turned the showfield into a quagmire.

Two years ago, the Lowther Game and Country Fair was launched, organised by Countryman Fairs – and set up to help fill the void left by Lowther Show’s demise. It aimed to showcase the best of what the countryside has to offer.

The events, held at Lowther Castle, have featured jousting, clay shooting and gundog championships.

This year’s event will feature world-class country sports championships, demonstrations by top flight sportsmen and exhibition stands with a sporting, rural and countryside theme.

Penrith businessman George Bowman, who competed at Lowther alongside his father, George senior, is the man behind the plans to put carriage driving back on the agenda.

He said: “Planning has taken a year but we are just about there. It needs 100-plus people as volunteers to put it on, but we are now at the point of agreeing the co-ordinates of where the helicopter puts down if anybody has an accident – part of the health and safety requirements.”

This year’s event, on August 10 and 11, will feature a whole range of horse driving competitions including four-in-hand pairs and singles.

“The North West Driving Club held a smaller competition there at Easter time last year to test out the facilities and that event ran well,” said Mr Bowman.

A full announcement about the Lowther Show is expected later today.

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