Young farmers looking for adventure this summer need look no further than The Game Fair, which is being held at Hatfield House in Hertfordshire from Friday 28 July to Sunday 30 July.
Here are 10 of the best – action-packed and thrilling – activities you can get involved in at the popular event.
See also: Hot-shot farmer wins Olympic bronze
1. 4×4 off-road experience
Put your driving skills to the test in the purpose-designed off-road course with Subaru. The course, which is free to have a go on, lasts about 30 minutes and each driver will be accompanied by an instructor, guaranteeing maximum fun and enjoyment in rough and rugged conditions.
2. Game-calling competition
Can you call a fox, blow a hunting horn or are you the next duck commander? Enter the fox-calling competition on Friday, take part in Saturday’s hunting horn challenge or have a go in Sunday’s duck calling contest in The Game Fair Theatre.
3. Scruffts’ cross-breed dog of the year
Is your handsome cross-breed dog always turning heads? Make sure you bring your fetching pooch to Scruffts, the national cross-breed competition being run by the Kennel Club, which is hosting a regional heat on Sunday 30 July.
4. Horseback falconry
Wowing crowds in the arena, Martin Whitley of Dartmoor Hawking will ride retrained racehorses, showcasing this ancient sport, with reins in one hand and falcons in the other.
These thoroughbreds and birds of prey will work together, as they chase a lure swung from horseback at top speed in The Game Fair arena on the Saturday and Sunday.
5. Airgun speed shoot competition
Test your mettle against the clock in Air Arms’ competition. Each challenger will be given 10 shots to knock down eight traffic light-style electronic targets.
There are cash prizes for the three fastest times over the three-day event (£100, £50 and £25). Plus all scorecards will be entered into a free prize draw to win a new Air Arms S410 Superlite airgun and kit worth more than £800.
6. Safe shot assessment with BASC
Although not a competence test, this was designed with the knowledgeable live quarry shooter in mind, to give an overview to the correct use and management of a shotgun.
Since the scheme launched in 1998, hundreds of people have taken the award and proudly wear their bronze safe shot pin on their shooting attire. The assessment costs £20 and lasts 20 minutes.
If gunpowder and firearms are not for you, have a go at this ancient sport in the field archery area. Try your hand at Olympic-style targets or 3D animal targets at a range of distances, under the supervision of an experienced instructor.
8. Grudge match: terriers v lurchers
Every day of the show, feisty terriers and lurchers will go head-to-head in this hugely entertaining battle.
Compèred by twins Neil and Nigel Varney, the race always draws huge crowds as the dogs tear down the specially designed track.
The half-hour slot packs in seven races, the champion of which goes through to the Grand Final on the Sunday when the supreme champion will be crowned.
9. Win a vehicle for a year
Dust off your skeet vest, polish your shooting glasses and get your shotgun ready to enter the EJ Churchill English sporting competition on the Subaru Shooting Line, where you could win a Subaru Forester for a year.
The competition is a 50-target English sporting shoot, shot over multiple stands. It is open to everyone, but competitors must bring their own shotgun and cartridges or purchase the latter on the day. The entry fee is £30, with re-entries priced at £25.
10. International farrier competition
Young farmers will love watching the inaugural Shoeing Lab Championships. Held across all three days, the competition is open to 48 farriers from around the world who will be split into two classes – apprentices and seniors.
They will compete for the £5,000 cash prize fund in front of renowned judges from the UK, the USA, Spain and Italy.
Competitors will have to replicate a specimen shoe against the clock and will be judged on quality and dimensions. After four eliminating heats, the eight finalists will then meet on the Sunday to compete at actually shoeing a horse against the clock.
- The Game Fair will take place at Hatfield House, Hertfordshire, on 28-30 July 2017. This is the first time the event, which celebrates British field sports and country life, has been held at the historic venue. For more information, visit the Game Fair website.