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Thousands enjoy country pursuits at Bowood fair
More than 13,000 people visited this year’s Wiltshire Game and Country Fair at Bowood and enjoyed the best of traditional country pursuits from shooting to fishing.
The show, which took place on Saturday and Sunday, was organised by Living Heritage and included a food village, craft and trade stands, and three different arenas with displays.
Visitors enjoyed watching sheepdogs round up Indian runner ducks, seeing drivers compete in the scurry driving challenge, and horses pulling demonstrators during the horse boarding.
Throughout the day they could hear the crack of a gun as people tried their hand at clay pigeon shooting and the buzz of machinery in the chainsaw artists’ section.
Dog owners had the chance the show their pets or put them forward for several challenges, including the pocket rocket terrier stakes and the multi-scurry challenge, open to gundog breeds.
Tony and Diane Lake travelled down from Cheltenham to enter their cocker spaniel Beano in the catch the bunny competition and enjoyed a fish finger sandwich from the Crayfish Capers food van.
Mr Lake said: “We enjoy watching the displays and he’s had a bit of catch this bunny this morning. He got through the first part, but he was up against a greyhound in the second round.
“It’s very rare that you get a chance to join in with the displays. It’s a good walk around the field with the dog, and it’s all outdoors so it’s nicer than going to the shopping centre.”
The Falconry Village was a particular hit with families, and the birds were brought to Bowood by the Hawkeye Display Team, who do shows all over the country.
These included an African spotted eagle owl named Smurf, a male peregrine falcon named Percy, and a rare black barn owl named Sweep.
Demonstrator Chris Neal said: “Today we have been flying the birds on the arena and we’re doing displays where we demonstrate the birds working with dogs as they would have done in years gone by.
“We’re a self-supporting business, but education and conservation is very important to us. This is one of the better venues and one of the busiest venues - the children love it."
Nicky Carr, from Bath, visited the show with her daughter Alice who is 22-months-old and enjoyed the hamsters and rabbits marquees run by local pet clubs.
These included the Midland Hamster Club, The Southern Hamster Club and the Bourne Valley Hamster exhibitors and breeders.
Mrs Carr said: “We came last year so we thought we would come back. We had a good time last year and she will understand what’s going on a bit more this time. She loves the animals.”
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