Hound Trails were introduced to the Eskdale Show in 1874 and have been a popular attraction ever since. The races follow an invisible trail on the fells made by dragging rags soaked in aniseed and parrafin from the halfway point on the course. The trail is laid by two people known as "Trailers" who drag the rags behind them, one Trailer heading towards the start and the other heading towards the finish. Pups race over a 5 mile course and seniors over a 10 mile course - usually completed in under 30 minutes which is a heck of a pace considering the terrain and the need to follow a scent.
There is much more information available about the sport on The Hound Trailing Assocaition web-site including how to take part and details of other events around the county.
Eskdale Show usually hosts five races for different classes and there are bookmakers on site should you fancy a flutter to add to the excitement. Betting on each race closes when "TRAIL!" is announced signalling the race is close to conclusion. If you have a pair of binnoculars make sure you bring them along to keep an eye of the races as they progress.
The results of the 2016 Hound Trails were as follows (classes are in bold):
Hounds: 1, Overwater Bessy; 2, Thorn Dancer; 3, Quiet Linnet; 4, Huntsman’s Jewel; 5, Ladybird; 6, Huntsman’s Jenny. 13 ran, time 27.31
Maidens: 1, Foxparke Yabadabadoo; 2, Westgate Rose; 3, Foxparke So be It; 4, Foxparke Hurry On; 5, Miterdale Proper; 6, Foxparke Turbo. 17 ran, time 28.33
Pups: 1, Jenny’s Aura; 2, Miterdale Rusty; 3, Foxparke Fandando; 4, Apollo; 5, Foxparke Rosie Lee; 6, Sweet Harmony. 14 ran, time 18.43
Open Restricted: 1, Bewitched; 2, Remember Me; 3, Great Gable; 4, Hunter’s Dale; 5, Miterdale Princess; 6, Foxparke Artist. 12 ran, time 19.28
Veterans: 1, Jacob McClink; 2, Langdale Jack; 3, Cinnabar; 4, Quiet Siskin; 5, Kerrymore; 6, Miterdale One. 6 ran, time 19.57