OFFICIALS of the 163rd annual Stanhope show breathed a sigh of relief as gales and heavy rain forecast for the weekend failed to materialise.

Show secretary Mike Robson said attendances over the two days were about average.

"We are well satisfied with this, in view of the adverse weather which was forecast for the weekend."

For Mr Robson, a former school teacher, it was his last year in charge of the show. After six years at the helm he has decided to hand over the reins to "some new blood with fresh ideas".

"During that time I have made an awful lot of new friends and have found it a refreshing challenge. But it's now time to move on."

The show was memorable for two Weardale farmers, who have given strong support for many years to all three agricultural shows held in the dale - at Stanhope, Wolsingham and St John's Chapel.

Bill Wearmouth, of Eastgate, picked up two trophies in the Bluefaced Leicester sheep classes, and Colin Martin, of Stanhope, achieved a double in the Swaledale category.

Main results: Sheep - H Stephenson Trophy for best Blue-faced Leicester in show, W Wearmouth, Eastgate; H H Mews Trophy for best Bluefaced Leicester in Stanhope parish, W Wearmouth; APCM silver salver and Stanhope Agricultural Society Trophy for best Swaledales, Colin and Ann Martin, Stanhope; Robson Animal Health trophy for best young handler, Mark Emerson. Eastgate.

Cattle - W Findlay Trophy for best animal in show and Dr D Thompson Trophy for beef cattle champion, J Craggs; Blue Circle trophy for champion cow and calf, W M Reed and Sons.

Horses - H E Emerson Cup for best hunter, Sylvia Murray; Berwick Trophy for champion pony, Mrs J Hedley; Best Clydesdale Trophy, Mr and Mrs G A Pinkney.

Welsh ponies - supreme champion, Carl Nee; Michael and Vicky Gallagher Trophy, S McNeal; Mardenway Stud Trophy, Susan Chambers; Deerness Trophy, Mr and Mrs P M Wilson; Kanarth Demetrius Rosebowl, Carl Nee; Everard Quarries Shield, Tom Carr; Stanhope Society Shield, Miss D Bain; Bryndir Stud Shield, Carl Nee; Monumental Shield, Mr and Mrs P M Wilson.

* More results from Stanhope show will be published in tomorrow's Northern Echo.