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Saturday, 19 April 2014

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Record crowd basks in sun at Skelton Show

Skelton can once again be described as the “lucky” show as the event basked in glorious sunshine.

Skelton Show photo
Mick and Connie Lightfoot with Karen Lockney

The soaring temperatures restored the show’s nickname, which it earned after being blessed with fine weather year after year – until its luck ran out last year.

Organisers were forced to cancel the event after torrential downpours left the showfield at picturesque Hutton-in-the-Forest waterlogged.

But on Saturday the sun brought out a record-breaking crowd to what is arguably Cumbria’s finest village show.

Visitors wandered happily among rows of perfectly groomed livestock and enjoyed a packed programme of events.

Show secretary Antonia Reid said: “We’re delighted. We couldn’t have wished for better weather. It’s too early to say but it looks like the gate numbers are up and entries for most classes have topped previous years.”

Familiar faces proudly led their winning animals in the grand parade, although some had left for home because the entertainment in the main ring was running late.

Champion of Champions in the livestock section went to a delighted Rachel Storey from Hobbiesburn, Longtown, with her imported Belgian Beltex sheep.

The animal is fresh from success at the Cumberland Show where it got Reserve Champion and is off to compete at the forthcoming Great Yorkshire Show.

“I had never seen the sheep in the flesh so to speak, only on the internet. But I am thrilled to bits with the win,” said Rachel.

Stalwart supporters of the show Kevin and Christine Wilson of Wood Farm, Thursby, clinched the Overall Dairy Championship with their senior cow Warnelview Final Cut Nita, an Excellent 95, fourth calver with a maximum score. The cow was reserve at the recent Cumberland Show.

On the beef front, Kevin Watret from Annan stole the show with his British Blue Cow, which had won the breed championship at the recent Royal Highland Show in Edinburgh.

“We’re as pleased as punch to win,” said Kevin.

Andy Peake, from Seascale, who came second in the Dog Show best six legs competition with his three-year-old German Shepherd Mika, a rescue dog, said: “I travel to all the shows to try to raise awareness of the German Shepherd Dog Rescue organisation. I am doing the Great North Run and the Cumbria Run to raise funds.”

Families picnicked and watched in awe as Steve Colley showed off his daring feats on a motorcycle.

“It has been an excellent show. Last year it was cancelled and it was a great miss,” said Patricia Dent, from Penrith, who brought along her three-year-old grandson Joshua Hodgson from Carleton Hall Farm, Penrith.

“He’s tractor mad and would sit at the wheel of one all day if he could.”

Entertainment included a dog show, pony sports, vintage vehicles and Cumberland and Westmorland wrestling featuring a 14-stone championship.

Trade stands reported “busy” trading.

Sue Jefferson, from Keswick Brewing Company, said Skelton was the first show she had been to with a stall.

“It’s a great show. Everyone was smiling and happy because the sun was shining. We were busy all day and people who sampled the beer have been coming back to take some home.”

A busy industrial tent provided some shade from the sun with ladies committee member Jean Parker reporting an increase in entries on previous years.

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