No Duff at Dufton Show
~ 29 August 2009

Whilst clubmates were achieving astonishing feats of ultra-endurance across the length and breadth of Europe, other members were maintaining the club presence in the obscurest corner of the Pennines. At the annual Dufton Agricultural Show, sandwiched between the ferret racing and the carriage driving, Keith Burns finally became a professional athlete when he won a £10 note in a plain brown envelope for 1st V60 in the Dufton Fell Race (5.5 miles and 1500ft). The course was a classic North of England professional event, up and down Dufton Fell from the show field. He reports, “The ascent was an uneventful grind where I managed to gain a couple of places on the final steep approach to the summit. My descent was interrupted when my hat blew off in the blustery gale and I fell into at least three rabbit holes at speed. Two women misdirected me off the route as I sprinted for the show field and I temporarily lost one of my hard won places, but recovered it in yet another desperate lunge over the finish line (no injuries this time).” He’s now looking for a business manager and coach to help him to improve his new income stream. He was a bit miffed by not getting a mention in the local newspaper amongst all the other prizes:



Other results of interest:
“ The show gave local farmer James Winter the hat trick, as for the third time this summer he received Best Sheep in Show for his Texels. He took Champion with his ram lamb and Reserve Champion with his ewe lamb. Though numbers of entries in the sheep classes, the numbers were up in cattle. Neil Slack of Plumb Tree house in Newby took Champion Commercial in the Cattle Classes. Best overall in the cattle classes went to the 32 month old British Blue owned by Nicolas and Neville Raine of Stanhope Gate, Middleton-in-Teesdale. She was by the bull Boroque De La Ecluse. For Appleby mum, Avril Swinbank it was a winning day, after taking second place in the most points in the miscellaneous classes. The mounted fancy dress attracted strong entrants. Elloise Stephenson, 11 and her sister Marianna 8 from Crosby Garrett near Kirkby Stephen won with All Done and Dusted on their 27-year old horse Pancake. Shoe President, Sheila Edwards said: “Dufton Show, the Fellside Royal started as a tub hiring and sheep sale on the village green in 1864.” (Acknowledgments to the Eden Valley Messenger).

Keith Burns

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