Countess of Wessex becomes President of Westmorland County Show

Among her many other titles, the Countess of Wessex is set to be crowned President of the Westmorland County Show in February. Her Royal Highness will make an official visit to Lane Farm, Crooklands on Thursday 8th February where she will be awarded the presidency of the County Show by well-known Levens farmer, John Geldard.

Society Chief Executive, Christine Knipe, commented on the appointment, “We are exceptionally lucky. It’s superb to think she is going to be our president for a whole year. It’s a recognition we are one of the oldest shows nationally and we are held in very high esteem not just in the North West or in Cumbria but in agricultural circles around the country.”

The Westmorland County Show is 218 years old and the annual event takes place on the second Thursday in September at the society’s showground. Over 30,000 people attend each year and there are events such as competitive classes for heavy and light horses, sheep, goats and alpacas as well as rural crafts and Cumberland and Westmorland wrestling.

Sophie visited the Westmorland County Show for the first time in 2013 and was the event’s first ever royal visitor. Prince Charles paid a visit to the 2017 event and like him, Sophie takes a keen interest in rural affairs.

The Countess of Wessex will be chairing part of the society’s annual meeting when she visits in February.

Christine Knipe continued, “There will be the opportunity to have lunch with us and meet quite a few members and start to build our plans for the year. She’s kept a watching eye over the society since her visit in 2013. She’s Patron of the Association of Show and Agricultural Organisations and I’m chairman of that, so our paths have crossed a few times since she visited and we’ve kept in touch.”

It is thought that while in Cumbria, Her Royal Highness will pay a visit to Carlisle Mencap and Annie Mawson’s Sunbeams Music Centre.

Mrs Knipe concluded, “She’s an amazing lady. She’s very knowledgeable and very passionate about the agricultural show industry.”

Photo Credit: Northern Ireland Office

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