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Tuesday, 22 July 2014

Lowther Show 2013 will be 'more spectacular', pledges George Bowman

Lowther Show will be borrowing from its past to come back bigger and better for 2013.

Lowther Show launch photo
Jim Lowther, with horses from George Bowman, relaunches the Lowther Show

The all-new event was launched in style yesterday by George Bowman Jnr, the man behind the plans to put carriage driving back on the Cumbrian map.

Driving his favourite team of four Cumberland cobs, the Penrith businessman said this year’s trials included a unique new layout and course.

For the first time visitors to the show, held over the weekend of August 10 and 11, will be up close to the action.

“It will be more spectacular,” said Mr Bowman. “The fantastic new course, including a dressage arena in front of Lowther Castle, will be brought into the crowd.”

The company behind the launch of the re-formatted show is Derbyshire-based Countryman Fairs.

Two years ago they launched the Lowther Game and Country Fair.

A favourite of the Duke of Edinburgh, time was called on the three-day horse driving trials in 2009 after more than 35 years.

Torrential downpours the previous year had forced the show to be cancelled a day earlier than planned.

Organisers blamed rising costs, the recession and bad weather for the decision to call it off for good, which they said had been taken “with enormous sadness and regret.” The three-day event attracted around 40,000 people.

Now, organisers said they were “excited” to welcome back to the local community a fantastic showcase of countryside living.

Show director Jerome Roberts said his company had invested time and effort on re-branding the all-new event.

“We will be bringing back some of the old and introducing many new events,” said Mr Roberts.

This year will see world-class sporting championships, including the World Series Clay Shooting and Gundog Championships, top-class main arena acts, demonstrations, a huge food hall and hundreds of local exhibition stands.

Old favourites will include the traditional hound show, fishing competition and jousting.

Jim Lowther, who runs Lowther Estates, said: “It is helping put Lowther back on the map as a visitor destination”.

He added that it would be the first time horses had stood in Lowther Castle courtyard since 1935.

The driving trials are expected to attract competitors from all over the country and people of all ages will take part.

They will see a whole range of horse driving competitions, including four-in-hand, pairs and singles.

Mr Bowman added: "The North West Driving Club held a smaller competition at Easter time last year to test out the facilities and that will be taking place again this year.”

Planning for the event has taken more than a year, with around 100 volunteers.

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