BRING out the bunting... Cumbria's summer show season is definitely back in business.

There was only one place to be last weekend, and that was the action-packed showground of Penrith's first virtual show in its history.

After months of mourning the lack of social gatherings, fierce competition in the livestock rings, shiny machinery displays and tempting arrays of food and drink created a virtual event that encompassed all the essential elements of a great day out.

And unlike normal summer shows nobody needed their wellies “just in case” as the sun is guaranteed to shine all day!

To bring the showground to life, Penrith Show organisers called on cattle, sheep, horses, and poultry producers to video their top stock which were then judged online by respected livestock breeders.

With entries across all sections, the videos were posted on the show website for everyone to view.

Judged a virtual winner, the show attracted some of the biggest class entries coming from the rabbit section, and the arable competition held before show day itself.

Chairman Richard Utting said “A virtual show replacing a real live show was an unknown, but we wanted to do something different, giving sponsors and competitors an opportunity to prepare entries and show off their exhibits."

He added: “Dry stone walling is a real art form and a great spectacle at the show – and for a change, we were able to see competitors working on walls they built across the countryside. It is always a well-supported competition and this year is no different. It’s a craft that rarely requires any social distancing!

“Our arable competition (results announced last week) was also well supported and it’s nice to give classes that don’t normally make the headlines, a chance to shine.”

The arable competition has been a firm fixture at Penrith Show for many years, but entries are seldom seen by anyone other than the farmer and the judge.

There were almost 40 entries across the seven classes in this year’s virtual show which feature spring and winter barley and wheat, root crops, maize and a catch all cereal category.

The Best Managed Crop Overall, and winners of the O’Reilly Diamond Jubilee Perpetual Trophy were Alan and Ben Taylor from Plumpton Old Hall.

In the livestock category, the judges particularly enjoyed the Young Handler section – where youngsters prepared a calf for show day and got smartly dressed to show it. These competitors will be leading the way in the future, said Mr Utting.

"One of the most popular categories was the rabbit section - but we were pleased to see entries right across all the categories in the show," he added.

How entrants fared


Four decorated cupcakes: 1, Sylvia Richardson; 2, Hayley Little; 3, Verity Ellis. Something made or crafted at home during lockdown: 1, Judith Edwards; 2, Rosie Fielder; 3, Sarah Whitaker; 4, Master Lewis Wilson – special prize. Photograph – Lockdown Life: 1, Joy Albert; 2, Amy Wilson; 3, Jessica Wilson.


Vase of mixed flowers:1, Maureen Ward; 2, Joy Albert; 3, Sylvia Richardson. Fruit & Vegetable selection: 1, K&K Roper; 2, Michael Fielder; 3, Jayne White.


Farm Animal in any medium: 1, Ollie Fisher; 2, Eddie Fisher. A rainbow in any Medium:1, Daniel Sharp. A Junk Model Spacecraft:1, Hayley Little. An Origami Animal: 1, Jessica Wilson; 2, Jack Little.


Dairy Young Handler: 1, Millie Young; 2, Jack Sim; 3, Elsie Young. Beef Young Handler: 1, April Skelton; 2 Evie Young; 3, Findlay Henderson.


Native Male: 1, Sarah Ruddick, Ling Leicesters; 2, Sarah Whitaker, Orchard House. Native Female: 1, Sarah Ruddick, Ling Leicesters; 2, Sarah Whitaker, Orchard House; 3, Chloe Holmes, Tranwell Coloured Ryelands. Continental Males: 1,Ashley Watson, Skyhigh; 2, Master Lewis Wilson, Undercragg. Continental Female: 1, Ashley Watson, Skyhigh; 2, Adam Gargett, Rookie Blues Diamond; 3, Amy Wilson, Undercragg.


Hunter Class: 1,Christine Stamper, Ballard Playboy; 2, Ann Sewell, Ceolmhar; 3, Claire Knorey, Cappa Harissa. Concourse d’ Elegance:1, Alison Fligg Lowhaygarths ,Will O The Wisp; 2, Alison Fligg, Hamish of Blengside.


1, Master Harry Stamper; 2, Eleanor Holme; 3, Lisa Evans.


Large : 1, Victoria Freeman; 2, Adele Dunn. Soft Feathered: 1, Lauren Strand. Waterfowl:1, Adele Dunn.


Fancy/Lop:1, Peter Faint, Adult Otter Dwarf, Belgium hare; 2, Gemma Bower, French Lop; 3, Emma Nuttall, Red, Thrianta AD Buck, Midlodge Stud. Fur/Rex: 1, S& L Dybie, Cedarhall Stud, Cedarhall Ghost, Alaska, adult; 2, Linda Fry, Thunder, mini black Rex, Frys Stud. Junior Owned: 1, Miss Tru, Cedarhouse Stud, Cedarhouse Fox, Alaska, adult; 2, James Hutchinson, Ella Hutchinson, Siamese sable mini rex, Ella Hutchinson; 3, Rosie Short, Ajax, Silver Grey. Pet: 1, Angus Bower, Jethro, Netherland Dwarf; 2, Adele Dunn, Jewel, Cadaka; 3, Charlotte Wardle, Nero, Mini Rex.


Best Vintage Tractor: 1, Trevor Mawson, David Brown 900; 2, Luke Huddart, David Brown 990.


1,Stephen Richardson, Dacre; 2, David Buchanan, Penrith; 3, Stephen Braithwaite, Penrith.

Cumbria Chairman’s prize for best cams presented by Stephen Atkinson to winner Steve King, Millom.


Class 1 - Best Winter Sown Barley: Mark Holliday,Town Head Farm Langwathby; 2, Robert Lyle, Staingills; 3, Hugh Lowthian, West Brownrigg. Class 2 – Best Spring Sown Barley:1, Mark Holliday’. 2, Robert Lyle; 3, Chris Wilson, Skirwith Hall. Class 3 – Best Winter Sown Wheat: 1, James Todd, Newton Rigg; 2,Chris Wilson; 3, Joe Taylor, Low Howgill. Class 4 - Best Spring Sown Wheat: 1, Chris Wilson. Class 5 – Best Roots Crop: 1, Chris Wilson; 2, Mark Holliday; 3, James Todd. Class 6 – Best Maize under Plastic Sown Crop: 1, Martyn Lyall, High Oaks; 2, Chris Wilson; 3, Scott Grierson, Skelton. Class 7 – Best Any Other Cereal Crop, and overall winner: A & B Taylor Contracting, Plumpton Old Hall; 2, M/s Fisher, Yanwath Wood House; 3, Joe Taylor, Low Howgill.