The Cumbrian farming community lost a hard-working and popular personality with the death of Rachel Lumley, of Roundthorn, Penrith, aged 37.
The oldest child of Ken and Jennifer Lumley, Rachel spent her early years at Allendale before the family moved to farm at Blanchland, near Hexham. She had a younger sister, Alice.
She was educated at Slaley First School, Corbridge Middle School and Hexham High School before spending a year working on a dairy farm in Australia — a far cry from her family’s sheep farm.
She then attended Harper Adams University, Shropshire, a specialist provider of agricultural and rural higher education.
She went on to work for an international food firm supplying UK supermarkets with fruit and vegetables, animal feed firm Spillers and Hexham livestock mart, and also sold eco boilers.
From 2010 she lived on a farm owned by the family at Hethersgill, near Carlisle, before moving in 2017 to live with her partner John Errington near Roundthorn, Penrith.
As a youngster Rachel was an enthusiastic young farmer, taking part in events such as the YFC entertainments competition, in which her club came second in the national final.
She was also a keen member of the South Northumberland branch of the Pony Club.
She competed for the branch in the Prince Philip Cup mounted games team, tetrathlon team, showjumping team and three-day eventing team.
Individually, she represented the branch in three-day eventing.
In the British Showjumping sphere, she was in the junior foxhunter final at the Horse of the Year Show and qualified for the young riders’ championships at the prestigious SCOPE festival, winning two classes.
An active member of the National Sheep Association, Rachel was always keen to promote the industry and was a key figure in the launch of Love Lamb Week, which has gone on to become a major national showcase for this sector of British farming.
Another of her interests was sheep shearing, and she represented England as the wool handling element of the national team at overseas competitions including in New Zealand and Ireland.
She helped organise the sheep shearing competition at Northumberland county show, dealing with the paperwork and entries.
Never frightened of a challenge, just last year she spent six weeks in Sussex lambing 11,000 ewes, and lambed 1,000 this spring.
Rachel is survived by her parents Ken and Jennifer and sister Alice, all of Blanchland; partner John, Penrith; and their daughter Francesca.
An open air funeral service was held at Ladyswood Farm, Roundthorn, on Wednesday. Walkers Funeral Directors, Penrith, had charge of the arrangements.
Donations are going to the charity Positive Langwathby, set up to support the community in that village.
Anybody with memories of Rachel is asked to send them by email to firstname.lastname@example.org so Francesca can read them when she is older.