History

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 of tradition, friendship and relaxation.

Top Historical Facts about Rydal Sheepdog Trials and Hound Show.

  1. The Vale of Rydal Sheepdog Trials was created by Stanley Le Fleming and a committee of 15 residents and farmers in 1901. Ever since, the Le Fleming family who own Rydal Estates, have shown unstinted support for the show
  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 and terriers were introduced in 1920.
  5. From 1960 -1978 Otterhounds were shown at Rydal
  6. The late Geoffrey Craghill, a committee member (1964-87), introduced a no height restriction rule for the Beagles shown, meaning Beagles of good conformation excluded from other shows, could compete
  7. In 1965, a new class for Best Group of Foxhounds was introduced. At previous Shows, the late De Courcey Parry collected money to pay for a Visitors Challenge Trophy to be awarded to the winning Group. Mr Parry better known as “Dalesman”, the pseudonym for his articles in Horse and Hound, insisted that the Group should consist of one entered and unentered dog, one entered and 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 tablecloth which was made by a great supporter of Rydal, Dora Marley. She collected signatures on her tablecloth of famous visitors to Rydal and then took it home each year and embroidered the signatures onto the tablecloth
  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 was at Grasmere on 20th April, 1840. They were introduced to Rydal Sheepdog Trials in 1913.
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