Olympic runners are looking a little sheepish

Action from Whalton Village Show'

Action from Whalton Village Show'

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THIS year’s Whalton Village Show was the biggest in the event’s history.

Visitor numbers were up by 50 per cent on 2011 thanks to a combination of some exciting attractions and sunny weather.

Mark Wylie entertained the crowds with his sheepdog and Indian runner ducks display team ‘The Drakes of Hazard’ and those in attendance received a pleasant surprise when the Pearl of Africa Children’s Choir came along for a performance as part of their Northumberland tour.

The sheep racing had an Olympic theme this year and the winner was entered by Matthew Sharp, Chairman of Ponteland Young Farmers Club.

The classic cars and entries for the event’s competitions in the village hall received many views and there were plenty of participants in the fun dog show.

Chairman Martin Keegan said: “We had ideal clear blue skies and thankfully our expanded show went without a glitch.

“The takings were easily the highest we’ve had and more than £6,000 will be given to the Whalton Village Hall, the First School and our Church of St Mary Magdalene.

“The Drakes of Hazard were a great addition as both the performances attracted large crowds. Mark Wylie provided entertaining commentary and got children involved as well.

“I received many comments complimenting the choir on their co-ordination and singing and the Young Farmers’ stall, which included some birds of prey, was very interesting.

“The sheep racing is now a well-established part of the show and we even had a couple from Glasgow who came along especially to see the event. Olympic torchbearer Ryan Elliott started the races and once again Alex Swailes did a great job as compere – to fit in with the theme he introduced teams such as Sri Lambka and the Baa-hamas.

“The wet weather earlier this summer had an impact on flower and vegetable entries for the traditional competitions, although a new dried flowers category organised by the Whalton Gardening Club was popular.

“We publicised the event well this year and we’re very grateful to James Fell from Northumberland Tourism for allowing us to put promotional material up in a number of communities and on its website.”

Mr Keegan also thanked Handelsbanken, the show’s main sponsor, and Stephen Hodgson for putting together the jumps, gates, fencing and pens for the sheep racing.