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The first Sheepdog Trials and Hound Show were held in the spectacular Rydal Park on 13th June 1901.

Today the Show is run by a Committee of Volunteers and  retains a unique quality, which as a committee we are focused on protecting and that is one of tradition, friendship and relaxation.

Top Historical Facts about Rydal Sheepdog Trials and Hound Show.

  1. The Vale of Rydal Sheepdog Trials were started by a committee of 15 local residents and farmers under the patronage of S H le Fleming esq, the then owner of Rydal Estates.
  2. In 1930, The Le Fleming Open Class of Sheepdog Trials became a national qualifying class and only eligible for dogs that had won a first or second prize in an open trial. This is still the case today
  3. In 1931, Rydal Sheepdog Trials became the first Lakeland event to be broadcast to the world by wireless.
  4. The classes for Fell Foxhounds were started in 1920 as were the classes for terriers, which are restricted to entries who have worked with one of the Fell Packs
  5. In 1960 the Committee were asked to include Classes of Otterhounds in the programme. These continued through until 1978
  6. The late Geoffrey Craghill, a member of the Committee (1964-87), persuaded the Committee to pass a rule that there should be no height restrictions on beagles shown at Rydal. This rule has encouraged packs to show Beagles of good conformation, which could not be shown at other Shows
  7. In 1965, a new class was introduced to the Open Fell Foxhound Show – the Best Group of Foxhounds. During the previous Shows, the late De Courcey Parry invited visiting Masters of Foxhounds to subscribe to a Silver Cup to be presented for this Class and it is know as the Visitors Challenge Trophy. Mr Parry better known as “Dalesman”, the pseudonym he used for his articles in Horse and Hound, insisted that the Group should consist of one entered dog, one unentered dog, one entered bitch, one unentered bitch, and a brood bitch, because he wanted to encourage Fell Packs to breed to a type.
  8. Visitors to the Fell Foxhound Ring are amazed by a very unusual table cloth which was made by a great supporter of Rydal, Dora Marley. She collected signatures on her table cloth of famous visitors to Rydal and then took it home each year and embroidered the signatures onto the table cloth
  9. In 1981,the Committee introduced a Show of Shepherds Crooks and sticks, with seven classes.
  10. Hound Trailing is a very old Lakeland Sport and the first recorded Hound Trails at Grasmere took place on 20th April, 1840. They were introduced to Rydal Sheepdog Trials in 1913.
  11. Glen Tubman MBE did the commentary of the Sheepdog Trials at Rydal for the last 50 plus years.  Glen won the  Tourism Personality of the Year, Glenn’s West Cumbrian humour had the crowds  smiling all day.
  12. The Supreme Champion of Show, is when the Champion Fell Foxhound, Harrier, Beagle and Terrier, are shown in front of all the judges and the overall winner receives the Bruce Logan Memorial Challenge Trophy.