I can’t believe we’re on our sixth show of the season already! Burghley Game and Country Show is one of our long standing shows and we always enjoy going back there. The setting is superb and the people are lovely. It was a huge show this year, spread over a lot of ground with loads going on, and although rain was forecast for Sunday we only had a very brief shower: the rest of the weekend was gorgeous.
We had sixty three flyball teams competing during the weekend! This is new for us, but we were delighted to host their competition, and I started Sunday by wandering over to see what it was all about. Hosted by the Fenland Firestorms this time, flyball is basically a team relay whereby fourdogs take it in turn to jump four hurdles (sized for the smallest dog in the team), grab a tennis ball from the contraption at the end and race back with it. It’s fast and furious and the dogs are very vocal in their excitement!
After photographing the flyball, I wandered on next door to the working gun dog tests. In complete contrast to the flyball, this was quiet, with the dogs hunting for specific dummies in the woods. Still a team challenge, these dogs would be docked points for making a noise so they are encouraged to sit quietly as they watch. Run by Lincolnshire Gundog Club, this is an event held at our Burghley Show every year.
No time to stop and photograph the lurchers or terriers this time, although both looked busy with plenty going on, I just had time to head to the Andy Singleton Arena to see the Pony Club Games and a bit of the Scurry Driving. The arenas were busy all day and moving down to the Countryside Arena I was fascinated by Kevin Mullinor’s raptors for a while.
In the afternoon I was busy with the dog show, but as we finished Fiery Jack arrived in his boat, complaining of a ‘leaky bottom’. As we were right next to the lake, he decided to try it out in real water, so we did… There are moments on these shows where you really don’t know what’s going to happen next…
Camping onsite generally means an early start in the morning, and by 7am I was up and out and photographing the Burne Bloodhounds as they literally poured out of their trailer! We had three working packs of hounds at the Burghley Show, as well as Otterhounds, Sealyham Terriers, Cesky Terriers and a variety of working breeds in the breed tent.
I was sad at the end of the weekend to hear that someone had scratched across the windscreen of one of the Hound vehicles. They were philosophical about it and said it was probably people who were anti hunting, but it really showed a lack of understanding. These hunts don’t hunt animals. They hunt a (volunteer) runner, who heads off cross-country, and the hounds follow their scent about an hour later. No animals are hurt in any way – and if the runner is caught he simply gets licked to bits by an enthusiastic pack of hounds who have enjoyed a long run in the countryside in the company of a group of riders who enjoy exercising their horses together. I’ve been out watching the hunts and there is no cruelty involved whatsoever.
Anyway, first stop on Monday was the fishing village and there was loads going on there! A friend of mine who is a keen fisherman had visited on Sunday and said how very good it is and certainly there was a variety of fishing demonstrations, people having a go, fly-tying competitions and a plethora of fishing equipment. The Tackle Shop, who sponsor the Salmon and Trout Association at our shows, were there, as well as the local ‘FeatherBenders’ Club, and many more.
Then I went over to the cookery demonstrations where Raz was just finishing with his crack team of helpers and tasters. He was followed on stage by a fascinating demonstration on how to cook crabs. I’ve never tried that but he made it look very easy!
Nearby the chainsaw carvers were hard at work but not too busy to pose for a general photo!
Back in the World of Dogs area, Anthea Shelley was running a busy gun dog clinic while Paul Makepeace was demonstrating to the crowds around the dog arena how to train a young labrador. Over at the Scurry Bandits they were busy with their Burghley House Challenge, completely unfased by the Viking Battles next door. The ferret racing drew the crowds as ever, and many wandered on to see the hamsters in the nearby hamster tent and make a new furry friend there.
As for me, it was time to start the dog show again, and this rather cute boxer puppy was waiting to be booked into his class.
All in all another fantastic show and we’re looking forward to Kent Country Show next month!