Despite Sunday’s dismal weather conditions, loyal crowds turned out in their thousands to enjoy Grasmere’s annual sports extravaganza.  The honeypot Lakeland village once again played host to visitors on its sports field on Stock Lane, to enjoy Grasmere’s 168th sporting event.  With a programme packed to the rafters, families came to enjoy the traditional elements to the show, such as Cumberland and Westmorland wrestling, hound trails, fell running for both adults and children, the ever-popular dog show, children’s sprint races, and the ‘long-leap’ for youngsters; together with new acts for 2018, such as the H&M dog display team and ‘Dangerous Steve’, who juggles fire and chainsaws.

With the veteran static car display, numerous trade stands and beer tent keeping visitors dry during the downpours, there was plenty to entertain the many families who turn out year-after-year for the Lake District’s most historical sporting event.

Taking first and second places in the U14 Guides Race were twin brothers and Lakes School pupils, James and Harry Bowen; the winning girl in the U14 Guides Race was Olesia Winder, who is coached three times per week by her father and described her first win at Grasmere Sports as “really great!”.  Winners in the Cumberland and Westmorland wrestling included Rosie Hodgson in the Girls U15 category and Gus Singer in the Boys U15 category.  The winner of the Senior Guides Race was Nick Swindburn with an impressive time of 13 minutes and 28 seconds.

One of Grasmere Sports’ most enjoyable events, and growing in popularity year-on-year, is the dog show.   Despite soggy conditions 54 dog owners showed off their prize-pooches, with entrants into in the puppy, adult and veteran classes.  Winners included Alfie, winner of the puppy dog class; Sika, winner in the adult class; Paddy, winner in the veteran dog class, and a special rescue dog award going to three-and-a-half-year-old Saluki-cross Ralph, given a good home after being found abandoned, just one year ago.

“We are very pleased with the turnout at Grasmere Sports this year which was exceptional despite such wet weather conditions!” said Chairman of the Grasmere Sports Committee, Hal Bagot.  “The event, now in its 168th year, has a very special place in the hearts of both visitors and the local community.  Many of these loyal spectators were here today and brushed aside challenging weather conditions to really enjoy everything that was on offer.  We would like to thank them for joining us.  We also extend hearty thanks to our sponsors, Jennings Brewery and Rathbones and in addition, Akela WholePrey, Skinner’s Premium Quality British Dog Food, CSJ K9, Millie’s Wolfheart and Nature’s Menu, whose tremendous generosity enabled us to give treats and rewards to all dogs entered in the show.”

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