Wiltshire Game & Country Fair

Being a Wiltshire girl, it was probably about time I went to the county Game & Country Fair.

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I was expecting to be bored and lured into going on the pretence we’d only stay for a couple of hours..but had a great time and stayed most of the day!

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My PIC (partner in crime)

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It’s held annually in the beautiful grounds of Bowood House, near Calne. The fair is only on for two days at the weekend and each year there’s a different theme; this time it was ‘the taste of the country’.

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Cheeeeese galore. We bought some marmite wedges!
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Because obviously ‘taste of the country’ wouldn’t be complete without fish finger sandwiches.

There is LOADS to do. I’m easily tempted and got stuck in with some pottery making!

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By far the best pot made all weekend… #modest

Although I didn’t really like the shape and made it into a wonky tea light holder when I got home.

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Why don’t I have a younger sibling when I need them?!

You could make colourful sand art things, pottery painting, truffle making, chocolate decorating… Sadly I don’t think I was the target age range! But plenty to do for those activity-addicts.

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Harvey’s Shires, the two horses at the show were from a brewery in Lewes, East Sussex. Not the local Wadworth horses from Devizes.

If crafts are not your style, there was also archery, air gun and clay pigeon shooting, ‘walk up shoot’, snog a dummy at South Western Ambulance stand (CPR training)…you could watch fly fishing, falconry shows (also birds of prey and owls), to name a few.

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I gave everyone else a chance, and didn’t join in with this one..

There was a good events timetable, featuring Pony Club mounted games, scurry driving, falconry demos, The Avon Vale Hunt, puppet shows, Shire horses (it wouldn’t be a Wiltshire show without them!), angling demonstrations, Terrier racing, ferret racing, Sheepdog and Beagle shows, Lurcher competitions… I’m sure you get the picture!

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Beside the ferret tent (dangerous) there was a huge marquee dedicated to hamsters!?
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The Avon Vale Hunt hounds

It was hilarious watching some of the naughty and younger dogs compete in the gundog competitions, sausage bobbing and flyball racing. If I had a dog it would probably be one of the ones misbehaving.

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Direct retrieve, challenges set up by Scurry Bandits.

I saw horseboarding for the first time, the team in pink are called “50 shades of bay” and rocketed around the course. The boarder is tied to the back of the saddle and also to the rider.

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Team ’50 shades of bay’

After experimenting with ‘horsesurfing’ in 2004 , the idea for horse boarding came about and the first National Horseboarding Championships launched in 2009. You can find out more about the history here (it’s a funny read!).

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Even little ponies can join in with the horse boarding!

We watched an interesting cooking demo by Crabstocks. I learnt dead man’s fingers in a crab aren’t poisonous; it’s all an urban myth. I can’t cook and don’t plan to learn anytime soon, but have some questions up my sleeve to ask in a restaurant the next time I order crab.

They also talked about a fisherman they know near Penzance who live-Tweets whatever he has caught, so you can buy the fish directly from Twitter and have it delivered straight away. Beat that Amazon ‘Fresh’!

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Crab cooking demo. Not suitable for vegans or vegetarians

We also stopped by a glass-blowing demo and saw some chainsaw carving.

There were speed carving competitions, where carvers had 30 minutes to carve something random. Each piece is carved out of reclaimed timber and immediately sold off, so you could take something interesting home with you, if you wished. Like a giant mushroom (below).

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Wood carving

To compete with the chainsaw carving there was Split Cane (Bamboo) rod making, wood carving using traditional methods and blacksmiths.

There were all the usual shopping stands… I particularly liked these bits and bobs (right hand pieces by Bonario):

And eventually, the reliable English weather forced us home.

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