The Game Fair is the main event in my calendar each year, the dates get put in the diary the moment they are announced. This year was no exception! Thanks to the lovely people at The Game Fair our visit this year was made extra special by giving my family and I gold passes! I must admit it was our best visit yet.
A Celebration of the Great British countryside, The Game Fair is a great family day out… For me, it is all about gun dogs, shotguns and shopping! I usually save for months in advance ready to squander way too much on the show offers. This year the show was based at the beautiful Radley Hall, luckily a local one for me! but people travel from all over the country.
First up, we headed straight over to Gunmakers’ Row. I am a keen shooter so it really is a must, I just love wandering down the rows browsing the fine selection of shotguns and accessories – In my head making a list of all the things I’d love to buy.
Gunmakers’ Row is the go to place to view the best and newest products. You can find all of the premier shooting related companies in one place, with all the accessories you may need whether you are just starting out or a dab hand with a shotgun. I was extremely proud of my self-control as I managed the whole row without a single squander – It was difficult, I was ever so tempted to buy a matching Croots cartridge bag or one of those dream shotguns that are way out of my price range.Now, next up was the fisherman’s village… I am by no means a fisherwoman, I’m too noisy and impatient, I also come with a rather excitable sidekick who scares all the fish away (Thanks Alf) but my Dad and brother have recently got back into their fly fishing. We took a walk around the stands before heading to the lake for a cast off, Alfie and I took a stroll to a quiet part for a swim and a cool down.
When it comes to food, the possibilities were endless… We headed to the food section and honestly it was almost too difficult to decide with rows upon rows of independent food stands, I just want to have a graze at each one! In the end I decided to grab the most delicious venison burger and smoked paprika chips from The Shotgun Chef …definitely the best decision!
After our quick pit stop we headed to the shopping village, with all my favourite luxury shops to browse there was a serious risk of over indulging – If you can’t shop a little too hard at The Game Fair, where can you?
Again I was very restraint when it comes to shopping, the only place I was dying to go to was Holland Cooper.. My absolute favourite shop, I have been dreaming of owning one of their luxury tweed capes for years! For now I settled for a beautiful Trilby Hat, perfect for those rainy dog walks and for looking fabulous on a shoot day.
Without sounding over obsessive, I could honestly spend days in the gundog section. With a great selection shops, demonstrations and a chance to watching the professionals in the gundog trails it was like being a child in a sweet shop.I can usually be found by the demonstration ring, sat there soaking up as much as I can from a variety of trainers… With training I feel it is so important to keep learning, everyone will have different styles and techniques for training their dogs. I like to find methods which suits Alfie’s personality and adapt them to fit into our training sessions.
A highlight for me is watching the demo from Adrian and Caroline Slater, of Kipperridge Gundogs. I have seen a number of their demonstrations over the years it is amazing to see them handle their dogs… They are one of the main reasons I got into training in the first place!Adrian started by bringing the most adorable cocker pup into the ring, explaining to the crowds how he would introduce basic training to a young puppy… The key thing is to keep it enjoyable, learn your dog’s personality and train accordingly.Next Adrian and his wife Caroline brought out two young Labrador’s, and explained the next stages… So walking to heal, the stop whistle then introducing the retrieve… At this age you want them to be focused on you, and eager to retrieve.Now for my favourite bit, he brought out the adorable Freddie.. A lovely young spaniel (I actually saw him train at a demo as a pup). You have to love a trainer that is so willing to embrace and work with a nutty spaniel. Together Adrian and Freddie demonstrated hunting and directions. Alfie was completely fixated on the ring at this point, he couldn’t work out why the man keep shouting his name – At home I tend to call Alf Fred, It’s a strange habit that stuck!
We couldn’t resist popping to the Equafeece stand, Alfie actually featured in their new catalogue (very proud mumma moment) It was great to finally meet the team. We also got him fitted for a new fleece as his old one is looking rathe scruffy.
Time really did fly, it was home time before we knew it! I highly recommend turning it into it into a weekend… We are definitely considering it for next year.
We had the best day, thank you so much The Game Fair for having us along.
Emma & Alfie xox