[T]hieves have taken a trailer loaded with tracking from the field at Rydal where Ambleside Sports will be staged tomorrow.
The tracking is used to lay on the ground so that vehicles can enter and leave the field – crucial in most years when the ground is muddier than it is this time.
The cost of the equipment stolen was around £6000 in all. The trailor is an Ifor Williams tipping trailer with sides.
The show, which has been held at Rydal park for more than 100 years, is the biggest and most famous of all the traditional sporting events.
It stages hound trails, fell and track racing, Cumberland and Westmorland wrestling, and grass track cycling on a 300m track. There are also trade and craft stalls, a wide range of food and drinks, and lots of entertainment for children. Several thousand visitors are expected to attend tomorrow.
The Sports are organised entirely by a team of volunteers who have been building fences, marquees and seating all week. The money raised from the annual show is used to buy more equipment – such as the tracking – and to fund a scholarship scheme for promising local young athletes.
Sports chairwoman Marjorie Blackburn said: “The tracking and trailer were stolen overnight on Monday night. If someone tries to sell you these, or if you notice someone has acquired a new trailer today, please tell the police. This is a selfish criminal act against a community event.”
The gates open tomorrow (Thurs) at 10am and the first event – the iconic Rydal Round fell race – starts at noon.