Game Fair offers plenty of sporting activities

Joseph Bulmer

The Westcountry Game & Equine Festival is amongst the first of the great regional game fairs in the calendar and is set to return on March 12 & 13 2011 at the Bath & West Showground, Shepton Mallet in Somerset.

This long established event which attracts over 20,000 visitors will introduce a wide selection of demonstrations to the new indoor equine arena, including top international show jumpers Graham and Tina Fletcher, stallion parades, pony club challenge, horse agility and scurry driving.

The brand new equestrian sport of Horse Agility is growing rapidly in popularity. In this fast and exciting sport, the horse has to overcome a number of challenging tasks from simple bending poles and crossing tarpaulins to tunnels, seesaws and A-frames, just as in dog agility but with larger obstacles! The speed, drama, tension and excitement of the competition make this a great spectator sport. Horse agility tests the horse’s physical as well as his emotional fitness and tests the handler’s ability as a trainer to keep the horse travelling safely over the course effectively and with style.

Started over a year ago by Vanessa Bee, the Horse Agility Club offers horse agility with graded levels of competition so that participants can learn and improve as they compete. Vanessa and her team will demonstrate not only how to get started in horse agility, but where it can go with horses working fast and loose over the obstacles.

The excitement will continue with the speed and thrills of scurry driving demonstrated by the scurry driving association. This sport is easy to follow, easy to understand and appreciated by people of all ages including those who have no working knowledge of horses. Watch as experienced international driving pairs of ponies are driven at amazing speed through a course of gates made from cones which have a ball on top. If a ball is dislodged then there are time penalties to add to the score! Exciting, fast, skilful and colourful – entertainment for all the family!

The shows other features includes an on-site Clay Shoot with Clay Shooting R Us, British Association for Shooting and Conservation (BASC) Shooting School, Air Rifle coaching, BASC Gundog Scurries, Terrier & Lurcher Shows, Fly-casting demonstrations and coaching with Charles Jardine, Archery, Falconry, Racing Ferrets, Vintage tractors & machinery, and the Game Cookery Theatre, hosting expert chefs who will demonstrate how to prepare delicious meals from traditional game meats.

For those with shopping in mind the countryside and equestrian shopping village will have over 200 companies with offers, advice and fabulous goods to see, touch and buy!

Whatever the weather, there is plenty to see and do for all the family!

Discounted advance tickets are available by visiting www.contour.uk.net or calling 01749 813899. You can also keep up to date with everything happening at the show by visiting our website www.contour.uk.net and also viewing our Facebook page. For exhibitor enquiries, please call 01392 421 500.

Sport