With temperatures reaching into the high temperatures for much of the weekend it was definitely one of the hottest ever Hampshire Country Fairs in our twenty three year history!
In the Andy Singleton Arena the horse-boarders were on their third heat of the season, and the weather didn’t slow them down at all. For those unaware of the sport, it involves hurtling around an obstacle course on a skateboard type thing pulled by a galloping horse. Not for the fainthearted! Slightly less prone to dramatic crashes before the finishing line were the scurry ponies; pictured left are the adorable Sooty and Sweep in action. They were followed into the arena by the fabulous Stannage International Stunt Team; who amazed everyone with their motorbike jumps, and seemed to quite enjoy setting fire to each other or blowing each other up!
Also flying high, but in the Countryside Arena this time, was our fantastic falconry team led by Ben Long. They took us on a journey of falconry through the ages in full Tudor costume, then brought it right up to date with the very latest technology in the shape of a robot crow, which the falcon pursued and eventually took down. While this was happening, we were told the heights and speeds it was all happening at – really interesting and informative – I’ve never seen anything quite like it!
Back in time again, another highlight in the Countryside Arena was Harvey’s Shires – a wonderful demonstration of these gentle giants in full regalia demonstrating pulling drays and carts as they would have done in days gone by.
The Daisy Range was proving popular in the Shooting Village. Unique to Living Heritage in 2018, this is a new and very safe and easy way for children to learn the basics of shooting. They loved it! In fact the Shooting Village in general was busy all day.
In the Angling Village Barry Grantham and Charles Jardine were teaching the noble art of fly-tying, with great hilarity, and as well as demonstrating angling techniques in the Countryside Arena, and fly-tying in the Angling Marquee, Charles was also to be found in the Country Kitchen demonstrating how to cook fresh fish well.
He was accompanied in the Cuntry Kitchen by the Crabstock Boys, Andy and Adrian, the ‘Singing Chef’, Andy Newitt, and Eva Humphries, ‘Wholefood Warrior’.
Portsmouth Amphibian and Reptile Society are always busy and no less this year! Their snakes were as popular as their lizards and it was lovely to watch the delight on the faces of the children, as well as a bit of horror in some cases!
The vintage steam and agricultural arena is always fascinating to watch, and their usual array of machines were popular with all who passed. Opposite them were the chainsaw carvers, who always amaze with what they can carve in just thirty minutes in a speed carve.
And of course the World of Dogs Zone was full of different breeds and doggy related demonstrations to watch. Shadowquest Dog Display Team showed us how working dogs are put through their paces; the terriers and lurchers raced regardless of the heat, and the fun dog show was popular all afternoon.
We are now looking forward to Burghley Show in a couple of weeks – hoping for more sunshine but, although I never thought I’d say it, maybe just a couple of degrees cooler?!