Traditional country pursuits reimagined for the modern world
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The Game Fair returns to Ragley Hall in Warwickshire this July, and we are pleased to announce that once again BASC members receive complimentary admission across all three days. Over 120,000 visitors are expected to attend from Friday 29 July to Sunday 31 July and the event once again promises to be a fantastic celebration of fieldsports and country life. The packed itinerary includes exciting displays, thrilling competitions, educational demonstrations and plenty of chances for visitors to have-a-go for themselves. There’s something for everyone, from clay shooting and rifle enthusiasts to fishing fanatics, foodies and more. Here’s our guide to the top 10 things to see and do at The Game Fair 2022 to help you plan your visit:
The Game Fair boasts the most comprehensive outdoor exhibition for game and clay shooting held anywhere in the UK. Run again this year by E.J. Churchill, visitors can take part in competitions, have a go at shooting and watch some fantastic demonstrations. There will even be the chance to win an Isuzu D-Max to drive for six months with the CPSA Champion of Champions. As always, BASC will be on hand providing one-to-one lessons for 30 minutes and a shorter ‘Shooting Experience’ for newcomers that lasts 10 minutes. There will also be the opportunity for visitors to test lead-free sustainable shotgun cartridges from brands like Eley, BioAmmo and Joker. The CPSA will be offering visitors have-a-go clay shooting at 10 targets with an instructor.
If you’re keen to enjoy the best British hospitality, the Investec Enclosure is the place to be. With a bespoke game-based menu created by TV chef James Martin, it is the ideal place to escape the crowds. By upgrading to one of four VIP packages (bronze, silver, gold or platinum), visitors will have exclusive access to the Investec Enclosure and Garden, with forward parking, complimentary show guide, a cash bar, lounge area, VIP toilets, a shop-and-drop facility and the chance to meet and greet celebrities. This year the Investec Enclosure is also hosting a Sunday lunch created by TV personality and author Amanda Owen, AKA the Yorkshire Shepherdess. Investec Enclosure packages start from £99 per person.
This year The Game Fair welcomes the Gritchie Brewing Co. for the first time, an artisan brewery founded by film director, producer and screenwriter Guy Ritchie. The menu includes a lager, two English IPAs and a New World IPA, all brewing using homegrown barley and water, drawn from an aquifer on the Wiltshire/Dorset border. A pit stop at the Gritchie Bar will be the perfect way to quench your thirst as you explore the hundreds of exhibitors and attractions on offer. You never know, Guy himself might be the one who pulls your pint…
The Game Fair is set to welcome three famous faces to Ragley Hall this July, and there are several ways you can make sure you spot them. Amanda Owen, known as The Yorkshire Shepherdess, found fame sharing her incredible outdoor life raising nine children in the remote Dales. Amanda has created a Sunday Lunch and Farmer’s Breakfast menu for guests in the Investec Enclosure and will be taking part in a daily Q&A.
Boyband star-turned-farmer JB Gill found fame on the X-Factor with his band JLS, which went on to sell 3.2 million singles in the UK. JB is now a TV presenter and an established member of the farming community who uses his profile to help educate children about farming and the origins of their food. JB will be taking part in a cooking demonstration with acclaimed chef and game meat evangelist José Souto and will also appear at The Carter Jonas Game Fair Theatre to speak about his farm and work as an ambassador for the Woodland Trust.
James Martin is a much-loved celebrity chef who has become a regular attendee of The Game Fair over the past four years. James has created a bespoke lunch menu for Investec Enclosure ticket holders and will be taking part in a gundog demonstration in the Main Arena with leading trainer Jason Mayhew, former international cricketer Matt Prior and his beloved spaniel Cooper.
The BASC Wild Food Theatre will gather some of Britain’s top game chefs to give live cookery demonstrations throughout the weekend, sharing their cooking secrets and championing the use of game and sustainable produce. The perfect place to get inspiration for future dinner parties or whet your appetite before heading to the Food Hall to sample the amazing array of food and drink on offer, the BASC Wild Food Theatre also educates visitors on the provenance of the food and sustainability and best practice from chefs and those who shoot, fish, hunt and forage.
Sponsored by the Abu Dhabi International Hunting & Equestrian Exhibition (ADIHEX), the Falconry Village at The Game Fair is a fantastic attraction for bird of prey enthusiasts. The Falconry Village features a wide variety of birds of prey and there will also be specialist traders, artists and UK falconry clubs on hand to give advice and share their passion for these magnificent animals. At the heart of the Falconry Village is the flying ring, where CJ’s Birds of Prey will hold exciting demonstrations showing the capabilities of different birds of prey.
Watching a perfectly trained gundog at work is a unique experience, showcasing the amazing bond between handler and canine. The Game Fair has been holding prestigious gundog test events for over 60 years and this year’s event sees the Euro Challenge and Home International competitions return once again. Alongside displays and competitions there are exhibitors, breeders and trainers on hand ready to share their words of wisdom on anything from feeding a new puppy to ironing out training issues. Plus, you might want to snap up a treat or new bed for your beloved four-legged companion.
The perfect attraction for families (and big kids) the Salcombe Dairy brings a taste of the West Country to The Game Fair - and the chance for people to make their own ice cream. Their interactive ice cream factory will keep children amused, churning out the brand’s award-winning, traditionally made Devonshire ice cream in an array of flavours. The Salcombe Dairy makes its ice cream with milk from a local farm, rich double cream and only the most delicious ingredients.
Returning after a highly successful debut in 2021, LAPADA (The Association of Art & Antiques Dealers) will showcase an exquisite range of fine art, furniture, jewellery, and antiquities in a dedicated pavilion just of the Main Arena. Confirmed exhibitors include Greenstein Antiques, Sarah Colegrave Fine Art, Shapiro and Co, Art of the Imagination, The Hunt Gallery, Ellis Fine Art, Plaza Jewellery, Howell, Carlton Clocks, Thomas Spencer Fine Art, Timewise Vintage Watches, Blackbrook Gallery, Haynes Fine Art and Pushkin Antiques.
A jam-packed itinerary ensures there’s always something to keep visitors entertained at the Main Arena. The action will include competitions, educational demonstrations and thrilling displays, with confirmed entertainment for 2022 including the Shetland Pony Grand National, hound parades, scurry driving, mounted Pony Club games and gundog demonstrations.
As well as these 10 must-see highlights of The Game Fair, there’s also the incredible shopping on offer. Over the three days, The Game Fair becomes one of the biggest retail areas in the UK with nearly 1,000 stands and truly something for everyone. All the big country brands will be in residence, with exciting new product launches and unbeatable show-only deals, alongside a number of small independent retailers and artisans.
The Game Fair has fishing at its core. The lake is a focal point, providing the opportunity for visitors to catch a fish, with instruction from the Canal & River Trust, or learn how to cast a fly rod with the Association of Advanced Professional Game Angling Instructors. More seasoned anglers can try their hand at various casting competitions, run by the British Fly Casting Club. See far how you can cast with the Spey and trout distance events or test your skills with the popular accuracy competition. There will be categories for different rod sizes and for male, female and junior casters.
The Landing Stage, The Game Fair’s fishing theatre, returns with a full schedule of films, talks and experiences. This will include an antique tackle roadshow, plus some well-known names in fishing like Marina Gibson will be on hand to share stories and pass on tips, along with Colin Macleod and Henry Giles making guest appearances in the book signing area. There will be a screening of Riverwoods, a documentary highlighting the link between salmon and the forests surrounding the rivers they live in.
The skilled Veniard fly tying team will be showcasing their art throughout the weekend, demonstrating their extraordinary skill while offering tips and chatting about their favourite techniques and patterns.
Visitors who are keen to take a closer look at some of the native fish found in Britain’s rivers and lakes can visit a tank curated by the Environment Agency with a selection of native coarse fish species. There will also be myriad angling exhibitors offering visitors the chance to book their next fishing holiday, choose a new rod or reel or browse a selection of new tackle.
Meanwhile, the ever-popular casting pool – reimagined this year as an English chalkstream – will be the perfect place to watch expert demonstrations from the likes of Hywel and Tanya Morgan, Marina Gibson, Scott Mackenzie, AAPGAI’S Brian Towers, Graham Simpson and Neil Barcock plus some of the Untamed Anglers.
Where: Ragley Hall, Warwickshire
When: Friday 29 July to Sunday 31 July (8am to 6pm; to 7:30pm on the Friday. Stands and attractions open from 9am)
Adult: £29 in advance for one day (gate price £35) or £58 for three days (three days for the price of two).
Family (2 adults and up to 3 children): £69 in advance (gate price £80) for one day or £140 for three days.
Children (8-16): £10 in advance for one day and £30 for three days.
Traditional country persuits reimagined for the modern world
Selena Barr explores why The Game Fair is a national treasure and everyone should attend at least once
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