Joseph Robson meets the Rocking Horse man

DONT tell Joseph Robson's mum that he was wrestling, and winning, at the Westmorland Show.

Six weeks ago he injured his ribs at Ambleside Sports and looked like being out for the season, or at least until he defended his 14st Championship at Alwinton Show in October, but he sneaked his wrestling strip out of the house to compete in the 14 stones wrestling. His final opponent, Jesse Bradbury, was the proverbial "man from the crowd", an unknown, but it had quickly become apparent that this was no novice wrestler. He made some errors, but he also showed good wrestling technique and seemed to be learning fast, so that he also reached the Heavyweight final. "Where did you learn to do that?" said I, as he came past after buttocking an opponent. "Freestyle," was the laconic answer.

After all the wrestling was over, he explained that he had come up from Warrington with a trade stand to sell hand-carved rocking horses, and had decided to have a go at the wrestling. He also revealed that he had been National Junior Champion in Olympic Freestyle Wrestling no fewer than eight times, and National Senior Champion twice at 74kg. Very quickly wrestling officials were trying to persuade him that there was a hunger for rocking horses at various Agricultural Shows where there just happened to be wrestling competitions too.

Dieting for Robert Leiper is like chiselling rock off a crag: there's not a lot of fat there. He is obviously aiming for the 14 stones Championship at Alwinton, and has been weighed out of several 14st events in the past month. At last he managed to weigh in at the Westmorland Show.....and was promptly felled. His long journey from the North East looked a wasted effort, but he wrestled with renewed power (or was it desperation?) to win the All Weights. At the opposite end of the wrestling Ben Brocklebank, one of the smallest wrestlers in the lists, won the award for the best performance of the boys wrestling even though he only came third in the Under 15 Years. Big brother Graham Brocklebank won the competition, but Ben did all the giant-killing.David Atkinson received the men's award, partly because he won the 12 stones, but mainly for a series of spectacular falls, displaying Cumberland and Westmorland Wrestling at its best.

Alan Jones had a good week, winning at both the Westmorland and Stanhope Shows. The 13st final at Kendal was a vintage display against the talented David Atkinson. Jones struck first when he managed to ride Atkinson's hype, dropped to the ground and twisted to win. Atkinson then answered with a hype that even Jones was unable to escape. Usually Jones plays a waiting game when he wrestles Atkinson, but in the deciding fall he came with a big twist and a swing, which caught Atkinson cold. Alan Walton could be doubly pleased with his wrestling performance at Stanhope Show and with the news that his son Chris, who had been in hospital with a ruptured kidney after winning the Under 15 Years Championship at Silloth, is now well enough to attend school.

After Russell Housby's successful trip to Brittany in February when he was overall winner of the Brittany Backhold Championships, more wrestlers have expressed an interest in taking part in the event next year. The Bretons have sent us an invitation for March 20, 2005 in the town of Carhaix.


Westmorland Show

Under 15 Years 1, G Brocklebank; 2, S Mason; 3, B Brocklebank.

Under 18 Years 1, John Harrington; 2, S Fell; 3, G Brocklebank.

11st 1, John Harrington; 2, G Brocklebank; 3, D Parsons.

12st 1, D Atkinson; 2, D Miller; 3, John Harrington.

13st 1, A Jones; 2, D Atkinson; 3, John Harrington.

14st 1, J Robson; 2, J Bradbury; 3, D Atkinson.

All Weights 1, R Leiper; 2, J Bradbury;3, R Housby.

Stanhope Show

Under 15 Years 1, R McCriery; 2, E Nicholson; 3, J Ewart.

Under 18 Years 1, John Harrington; 2, Joe Harrington; 3, J Ewart.

11½ st 1, John Harrington; 2, R McCriery; 3, E Nicholson.

13st 1, A Jones; 2, A Walton; 3, John Harrington.

All Weights 1, A Walton; 2, John Harrington; 3, R Leiper


Under 12 Years 1, D Ewart; 2, C Humphrey; 3, J Brown.

Under 15 Years 1, J Ewart; 2, M Eames; 3, D Ewart.

Under 18 Years 1, John Harrington; 2, Joe Harrington; 3, J Ewart.

12½ st 1, A Carlile; 2, A Walton; 3, John Harrington.

All Weights 1, R Housby; 2, R Leiper; 3, A Jones.


Tonight 8pm: Carlisle Wrestling Club AGM at Currock House, Carlisle.

Sept 18 (Sat): 2pm Egremont Crab Fair U12/U15/U18/111/2/13/AW

Sept 19 (Sun): 2pm Borrowdale U12/U15/U18/111/2/13/AW

Sept 25 (Sat): Langholm Show, Eskdale

Written by © Roger Robson. Photographs by © Roger Robson, Julian Richardson or Linda Scott (May 4th 2011)

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