Saturday, 19 November 2016 00:00

The East Anglian Game and Country Fair 2017

Written by  The All Things Norfolk Team
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The East Anglian Game and Country Fair 2017

The East Anglian Game & Country Fair will take place on Saturday 22nd & Sunday 23rd April 2017, at the beautiful new location of Euston Estate, near Thetford, by kind permission of The Duke and Duchess of Grafton.

Henry FitzRoy, 12th Duke of Grafton said "My family and I are delighted that Euston Estate is hosting the East Anglian Game and Country Fair for the first time, as this popular event returns for its 14th year.  I would like to welcome all the officials, sponsors, exhibitors and the public to what I hope will be a very enjoyable two days. The park and grounds offer a particularly attractive setting for events of this kind and all the diverse activities on offer from clay shooting to dog shows, and archery to forestry displays, make it a great day out for the whole family. With something for everyone, we hope that the Fair continues to grow from strength to strength, as it showcases the best in country pursuits."

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Euston Hall is steeped in history and provides a beautiful backdrop to the already established events on the Estate. Euston Estate provides a more central location for The East Anglian Game & Country Fair, only 30 minutes from Norwich on the newly dualled A11 near Elveden or Thetford turn, with excellent access to Norfolk, Suffolk, Cambridgeshire and Essex.

This beautiful venue lends itself to a game and country fair setting, along with offering the opportunity to further evolve and develop the show, with the space and freedom to invite new attractions and events, whilst ensuring that the popular events that we have always enjoyed remain. 

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We have a number of new equestrian attractions confirmed for the 2017 Game & Country Fair. The Mounted Games Association of Great Britain will be holding the most exciting and exhilarating display competitions in the Main Arena. Riders in teams, complete short relay style races against each other demonstrating speed, accuracy and horsemanship. Races are a mix of turns, intricate hand overs, equipment collections and placements, vaulting on and off the horse and of course - all at gallop! Members of the audience are invited to support their local team as points are awarded for each game, giving a competitive edge to the entertainment.

See the exciting, fast and skillful British Scurry & Trials Driving Championships in the Main Arena at this year's East Anglian Game & Country Fair. Watch ponies of all shapes and sizes take on a timed obstacle course made from cones, temporary barriers, flags arches and ramps all against the clock. Speed, agility and bravery are all required! Audience participation is encouraged to spur on the competitors and provides great entertainment for all the family.  

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This year we are excited to welcome Gary Witheford to the show. He is often referred to as a horse whisperer, others call him ‘the magic man’, but Gary Witheford, the man who breaks horses in less than half an hour, prefers to call himself a ‘horseman’.

As the first man to break in zebras, Gary and his son, Craig, work with horses who present all sorts of problems. These range from refusing to load onto horseboxes, ridden issues such as bolting, bucking, rearing or napping, fear of traffic, farrier or vet phobias and many other challenges faced by horse owners from all disciplines, be it happy hackers or competition horses.

In addition to this they specialize in working with racehorses who have a range of issues, most notably those with issues when being loaded into starting stalls. The most notable of his racing successes to date was Sea The Stars for Irish trainer John Oxx and the mighty Kingman for John Gosden.

Gary’s expertise in dealing with horses spans over 30 years and he has dealt with many eventers and competition horses.

As Gary explains, horses don’t really want to get into a fight and by working them using pressure and release, they quickly learn to look at you as a leader. “The less pressure there is the more the horse will follow you. It’s the herd instinct. Horses are flight animals, whether they are thoroughbreds, ponies or shire horses so you’ve got to go through their thoughts and go back to basics.’’

As the ‘magic man’ says “I like to think I let my horses do the talking and let the results speak for themselves. It’s all about trust and getting them to think ‘You’re my leader and I will follow you’. It just proves to me that the way I handle horses has to work. I have great respect for the owners, riders and trainers that I work with and totally appreciate the trust they place in me. With the increased focus on welfare for horses I hope that by working as a team we can all make things better for the horses, handlers and riders".

See the 'magic man' in action in the Round Horse Pen at this year's Game & Country Fair. Not to be missed!

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We are delighted to welcome Sion Davies Farrier Services to the Game & Country Fair. Sion passed his diploma in 1994 and covers all types of Farriery. His expert skills are sought after in many countries which takes him around the world. He is a member of Worshipful Company of Farriers and his craft has also gained him the prestigious award, Freedom of The City of London.

Sion specialises in working with foals, limbs and hoof deformities whilst continuing to work with them throughout their years. Sion also enjoys competitions and has successfully competed worldwide including the world championships in Canada. Sion shares his passion and skills with his two other Farriers and his three apprentices.

A well shod horse is the result of co-operation between the horse owner the farrier... and the horse. The farrier brings to the job the skill and knowledge acquired through a lengthy apprenticeship, intensive college and training and a continuing accumulation of experience.

The horse will be better able to co-operate if used to handling, so that it will stand quietly whilst the feet are picked up, trimmed and/or shod. Proper feeding and continuing foot care picking out the feet helps build strong horn which makes good farriery easier.

Sion will be bringing his forge to the Game & Country Fair and will be showing the art of making shoes from scratch. See Sion and his team near the Round Horse Pen.

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UK Horseboarding Arena Demonstrations return “somewhere between scurry racing and wake boarding” describes Arena Boarding. Teams take on the clock around a course of gates, set to challenge the best boarders and horse riders, from long straights into sweeping bends and ninety degree turns.

New board technology has meant that board riders can get more grips in the corners, but as the track gets scrubbed out, you will still see them power sliding round the bends kicking up dust like a rally car.  This part of the sport has become so technical that board set-up, and even tyre choice has become critical.  The teams push their boards to the limit as they fight it out, trying to shave 100ths of a second off their times. As will always happen, when sportsmen push themselves and their equipment to the limit, sometimes they find the edge. Crashes are frequent, - with the teams’ motto seeming to be “we will not win by going slower” an absolute must-see spectacle. You will not be able to take your eyes off it, as teams achieving already unbelievable speeds, get faster with each race.

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The Mid-Norfolk Gundog Club has been providing its members with training and competitions for 30 years. The demonstrations illustrate the stages of training for Spaniels and Retrievers as they are prepared to become working gundogs. Trained gundogs have a vital role in any form of responsibly conducted game shooting.  In the Main Ring, the roles and work of Spaniels and Retrievers are demonstrated in the context of the shooting field. Mid Norfolk Gun Dog Club will be running the Gun Dog Scurry competitions and a Team Gundog Working Test - a competition for trained gundogs that simulates the problems the dogs will encounter when working. The competition, introduced to the East Anglian Game and Country Fair 4 years ago, is an ‘Open’ standard competition for teams of three experienced dogs and handlers representing clubs and societies from across East Anglia and takes place over both days of the fair. Expect and enjoy first class work and a keen but friendly competition from some of the best gundogs and handlers in the region.

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Whether you are a practicing falconer, nature enthusiast or not the Falconry Village is sure to keep you entertained. There will be mini events going on all day in the arena, lure swinging competitions and talks on hunting plus several stands to browse along with expert advice from falconers.

Ye Olde Redtail Falconry Display brings the ancient art of Falconry to the modern age, with a comprehensive and thrilling display, that is guaranteed to thrill audiences of all ages. Watch it, be amazed, and join in.

Ray and Wendy Aliker have been giving professional displays for nearly thirty years and in that time, have built up a reputation for giving one of the most sought after and exciting displays on the indoor and outdoor circuit. Filled with audience participation, the display shows the natural attributes and abilities of the birds, how they live, fly and hunt in the wild. The display is packed with excitement and surprises - not to be missed!

The Forestry Village hosts ‘The East of England Cutters & Climbers Competition’ and Pole Climbing Competitions. The forestry arena will be a buzz of activity with chainsaw carvings, felling demonstrations, tree climbing and pole climbing competitions. Tree workers from around the UK will be competing at this rare opportunity to see a working forestry village.

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If Bear Grylls is your thing then Woodland Ways Bushcraft & Survival will be demonstrating their vast knowledge of bushcraft & survival techniques. There will be opportunities throughout the day to get ‘hands on’ and learn some skills for yourself. They will also be running ‘Pigeon Plucking’ competitions on their stand over the weekend. Find out how quickly you can prepare a pigeon for the table without using a knife.

Our Game Fair Country Kitchen has a great new line up with a variety of cookery workshops and demonstrations taking place over the weekend from a selection of local chefs, including Celebrity Chef Chris Coubrough, Arthur Howell, James Conway, Andy Snowling, Justin Kett, Rachel Green,plus many more. The Cookery Theatre is housed in the centre of the busy Food Hall where you will find a wide variety of exhibitors from Norfolk and across the UK bringing unusual and mouth watering food and drink to the show for our visitors to sample, enjoy and purchase.

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Once again the Educational Zone will be showcasing some of the best Independent schools from across the region. This large marquee gives visitors a unique opportunity to meet some of the staff and pupils from these schools and discuss their child's education in a friendly and informal environment. Visitors are able to meet representatives from the schools themselves and explore all that these schools have to offer in a relaxed setting giving a valuable insight into the vast range of experiences that children will be able to expect if they were to join these schools in the future.

There are over 350 shopping stands with a wide variety of products from fashion and footwear to gun makers, eco products, fishing products and home improvements. Plus, craft halls and gift marquees. The Dog & Duck onsite pub will be serving a great selection of local beers and drinks throughout the weekend, and will be hosting live music both during the day and on the Saturday evening.

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Children of all ages will be able to take part in countryside activities and meet several animals, including alpacas and enjoy donkey rides. 

There will also be a number of traditional craft demonstrations and activities taking place across the weekend to entertain all ages.

Join in and 'have a go' at a range of country activities from clay shooting with John Bidwell’s High Lodge instructors or enter the competition clay shoot for men, women and juniors. Fly fishing with the Salmon and Trout Association, ferret racing and archery to paintballing and crossbows. Try the air rifle range, hold a bird of prey or take a ride in a Landrover on the off road 4x4 course. 

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K9 Aqua Sports© will be holding its ‘K9 Jump Jet©’ Competition, which is the Long Jump for dogs into water, with Heats at 12.00pm (Midday) & 2:30pm on both days (Saturday & Sunday) of the show and the K9 Jump Jet© Finals will be held at 3.30pm on the last day (Sunday) of the show with the top Teams Dogs that have jumped the furthest distance within the 4 Heats Dogs, Fly ball Dogs, Gundogs, Obedience Dogs or even the Families Pet Dog are welcome, as long as they are over 6 months old and healthy. All K9 Jump Jet© Heat Participants will receive a Participant Rosette with Placement Rosettes for Top 6 Teams in each Heat.

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Enter your dog into the Dog Agility and Jumping competitions and ‘have a go’ arenas. The Pet Dog Show 1pm Sat & Sun or even the popular Terrier & Lurcher Show which takes place on Sunday at 11am. This will be a qualifier for all major championships as well as the East Anglian Championship. A best turned out dog & owner competition will take place during the first terrier and lurcher class on the Sunday of the show.

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Ticket Information:

Advance discounted admission e-tickets are available now online at www.ukgamefair.co.uk or by calling the ticket hotline number 01263 735 828 Adult £14.00 Children (5-16yrs) £5.00 and Family (2 Adults & 3 Children) £38, (offer valid until midday 17/04/17 No booking fee for online orders. Under 5's are Free and Car Parking is Free for all.

On the gate prices: Adult £17.00, Children (5-16 Yrs) £6.00, Family (2 Adults & 3 Children) £46, under 5's are Free and Free Car Parking for all.

Become a member of the show.Priced at a very attractive £28 per adult, £12 per child (5-16 yrs) or £80 for a family (2 adults & 3 children) its great value! Beat the queues with prioritised car parking & admission to the show, plus access into the ringside Members' Enclosure with Licensed Restaurant in front of Euston Hall. Seating is available inside the marquee and bar area or outside overlooking all the main arena displays and Euston Hall. Luxury toilets at the Member’s Enclosure with disabled access and disabled toilets also provided!

Membership tickets, gift packages, experience days and lunches are also available to book online at www.ukgamefair.co.uk or call 01263 735828 for more information.  

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Camping Weekend Tickets - Set in the beautiful Walled Garden of Euston Hall, the campsite at Euston Estate is a fantastic place to have as your base whilst you enjoy the show weekend. Just bring your Caravan, Camper or Tent and enjoy a fun filled short break (3 nights) with your friends and family! We provide excellent camping facilities, as well as storytelling around the fire pit as you toast marshmallows, not forgetting the bar and free live music on Saturday evening, as well as enjoying two full days at one of East Anglia’s most talked about family days out. Well behaved pets are most welcome too. Book early and save money on Camping weekend tickets visit www.ukgamefair.co.uk for prices and full details.

Keep up to date with all the latest game fair news and offers at www.ukgamefair.co.uk Subscribe to our e-newsletter and join us on our social networking sites, or call 01263 735828 for more information.

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Last modified on Saturday, 19 November 2016 20:15

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