The sudden death of farmer Hannah Brown at the age of 26 has left the community of Dufton and the national agricultural showing circuit in shock.
A “true Yorkshire lass” who was said to light up a room when she entered, Hannah moved to Dufton to live with fiance Ben Richardson in 2019.
The couple met when a teenage Hannah showed cattle for Ben’s parents, John and Dorne Richardson, of Ghyll House, Dufton.
On moving to the village, Ben and Hannah lived at Brookside Cottage and in August Hannah gave birth to their daughter, Millie, now eight months old.
The daughter of Martin and Val Brown, of Leyburn, Hannah grew up on their farm at Beechwood House, Newton-le-Willows, and from birth was immersed in farming life.
Exhibiting her first sheep at just two years old, she would go on to be a successful and much-loved part of the showing community throughout England, Scotland and Wales.
Following her death, tributes have been paid to Hannah by the Northern Beltex Club, NEMSA, the British Limousin Cattle Society and in the Farmers Guardian, to name but a few.
Hannah was educated at Crakehall Church of England Primary School followed by Bedale High School in North Yorkshire.
Outside school she had a love of the outdoors and was totally dedicated to learning the family sheep and cattle trade from her parents. She went on to gain a diploma in agriculture from Bishop Burton College.
Hannah won her first Young Handlers class at just three years old, exhibiting Mule gimmer lambs at Ryedale show, followed by shows at Masham and Pateley Bridge.
From this young age she became “the one to beat” in Young Handler classes and at aged 12 was the only person ever to win the Young Handler championships in both cattle and sheep at Countryside Live.
Hannah attended the Great Yorkshire Show every year from birth with her parents, showing butchers’ lambs and Mule shearlings.
She was an integral part of the family team which won many championships.
As a child she had joined Winskley-cum-Grantley Young Farmers Club, of which she was chairman for two years and spearheaded a bath push from Ripon to Scarborough which raised £8,000 for charity.
Hannah and Ben became engaged on her birthday — September 21 — in 2019 and the couple planned to marry at Dufton’s St Cuthbert’s Church on New Year’s Eve, 2020.
Due to the coronavirus outbreak, the wedding was postponed and they were set to become husband and wife on the forthcoming New Year’s Eve.
On moving to Dufton she quickly became a popular member of the community who instantly made friends due to her straight-talking ways and stunning smile.
She has been described by Ben as someone who “lit up a room when she walked in”.
She also threw herself into working on the family farm and was said to be “as strong as an ox” — eagerly back to work dipping 800 sheep just a month after giving birth to Millie.
Alongside her future father-in-law, John, she also enjoyed shooting and beating— a skill she had learnt alongside her father — and had successfully trained her own spaniels.
In her father’s words Hannah was a “true Yorkshire lass”.
Hannah became ill and was admitted to the Cumberland Infirmary, Carlisle, before she died on Tuesday, March 23.
The funeral will be held at St Cuthbert’s Church tomorrow and donations in her memory can be made via Richardsons Funeral Directors, Penrith, who have care of arrangements.