Record numbers greet return of Eggleston Show
RECORD numbers visiting the 145th Eggleston Show got to see some of the best animals and produce the region has to offer.
The show got off to a bit of tumultuous start when a beast in the cattle section broke free, and after being taken under control had to be exhibited from its trailer. It failed to win any prizes
The early excitement aside, the show ran smoothly with a shorthorn cow and calf being award the best in show title ahead of strong contenders in equine and sheep classes.
Mother and daughter team of Joanne and Megan Souter, from Marwood, made a clean sweep in the shorthorn class taking the titles for beef shorthorn in milk, beef shorthorn in calf over two and taking first, second and third places in maiden heifer under two category.
Their cow and calf went on to be crowned overall cattle champion as well as best in show.
Elsewhere in the Highlands class Eggleston farmers Simon and Emma Haley had a good day taking majority of the classes including best yearling bull, best cow and calf and best calf born in 2012, However, they had to settle for reserve champion after being pipped at the post by Escomb farmer Dan Newcomb’s heifer Valentia which took the champion title.
Highlands judge Allan Talford, from Coldstream, described the quality of animals on display as excellent and complimented show organisers for their efforts.
He added: “It is a nice, friendly show and it is good to see shows like this continuing.”
Paul Brannen, from Temple Sowerby, took the championship in beef cattle class.
The sheep category was hotly contested with a north country Cheviot, exhibited by Annie Stones of Marrick, near Richmond, taking the overall sheep champion title.
Peter and Susan Addison, whose Hayberries Farm played host to the show, had an exceptional day with their Zwartbles sheep.
Their ewe won its class before going on to be declared champion of its breed and as well as overall short wool champion. It also earned overall reserve champion behind Ms Stone’s Cheviot.
A fell pony took the supreme champion sash in the equine section and emotion got the better of Cumbria-based handler Bethany Cousins, who couldn’t hold back the tears of joy when judges awarded the title to Dalewin Uptown Girl.
It was the third outing, and most successful, of the season for the four-year-old pony, bred by Miss Cousins' grandfather, Edwin Winder. It picked up the top spot for the best gelding or mare three years and over and the Fell Pony championship title.
Miss Cousins also picked up the Fell Pony Breeders Association Shield in the young stock section with yearling Dalewin Xena.
She said: “It’s our third outing of the season and the best result. We got a second at Wolsingham and a win at the Cumberland Show, but this is just the icing on the cake.”
There was also success in the Fell Pony classes for Startforth’s Penny Ebdon. Taking a rare day off from her tearoom in Barnard Castle Ms Ebdon was delighted when her 11-year-old Raitland Gillie, picked up first place in the ridden class with Tanya Hollingworth in the saddle.
It was a good day on the showfield for veteran horse breeder Richie Longstaff, from Mickleton, winning the Dales pony championship section with Low Houses Monica, having picked up a win in the best brood mare with foal at foot. His three-month-old Lowhouses Tonto Star also secured top spot for the best colt of filly in the Dales pony section.
Mr Longstaff was also successful in the driving classes, picking up a first with Lowhouses Rihanna in the exercise cart section.
In the tradesmen’s turnout class he placed second with Lowhouses Paddy, with Paul Stacey from Darlington, and Golden Rima Express and his 100-year-old Norwegian flower cart.
In the mountain and moorland section Langdon Beck's Andrea Collin came out on top, picking up both the championship rosette and the reserve titles with Lisa Fielding from Ayton Banks with Rospers Little Dorritt, who was given a Dickensian name
Four-year-old Connie Hutton on Waitwith Whoopi impressed judges Harry Horton and Sarah Finney, in the working hunter classes and was awarded the Ken Wilson Decanter.
Mr Wilson, who died last year, was passionate about horses and a keen rider. His widow, Dorothy, presented the award with help from grand-daughters Elle Gill and Heather Wilson.
In the industrial marquee Cotherstone's Michael Hedley had another successful show with his produce entries, winning a number of firsts for his sizable vegetables and best in show for his collection of vegetables.
He said: “I’ve been coming to Eggleston for about 50 years and I’m pretty happy as I’ve done well all round.
“I didn't set off the season to grow for the show because we didn't know if it was going to be held so what I entered is what I was growing to eat.”
However, he is so successful at growing produce that surplus veg are left at the rear of his homes. Friends and neighbours are asked to make a donation into the honesty box and all funds raised will be sent to the Maggie Centre, in Newcastle, which provides support to those affected by cancer.
Mr Hedley added: “We thought it was a good way of giving something back.”
Organisers say the show was probably one of the most successful in recent years with record numbers coming through the gate.
Show secretary Alan Gent said: “It is the first time we have run out of wristbands. We must have had between 4-5,000 people there.”
In the industrial section he was particularly pleased with the number of new exhibitors.
He added: “The flower arranging was stunning. There were one or two new competitors. The section that was really well subscribed was the art, people must have been taking up new hobbies during the pandemic.”
Mr Gent is stepping back from being overall show secretary but will continue to be secretary for the marquee exhibits.