The CLA Game Fair, the worlds largest field sports event, will soon be opening its gates to an estimated 138,000 visitors. The three-day show, which is being held at Ragley Hall, near Alcester in Warwickshire, from 23-25 July, will host national and international championships and competitions in shooting, fishing and gundogs.
There is a raft of new features this year, including The CLA Game Fair VIP Club. Members tickets include entry to the Game Fair, access to the members enclosure, breakfast, a buffet lunch, tea and a chauffeured buggy to and from your car. VIP members can also use the special concierge service to prebook tickets for Game Fair events, organise accommodation and get advice on shopping and mustsee stands. Tickets cost £150 and are available to buy now. To book, tel 07541 233992.
This year also sees the introduction of money-saving vouchers including discounts for shooting on the Clay Line. There are savings for both adults and juniors if vouchers are purchased in advance. To purchase vouchers, contact High Lodge, tel 01986 784347 or visit www.highlodge.co.uk.
As well as the debates on country issues there will be a speaking competition for 18- to 25-year-olds in the Game Fair Theatre. Have Your Say is an opportunity for young people to speak for five minutes on a rural issue of their choice such as the benefits of shooting and conservation or the importance of small farms and rural communities. A trophy will be awarded to the winning presentation. Entrants must apply before the Game Fair. To enter, contact Fiona Eastman at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Visit Shooting Times
Come to the Shooting Times stand (No H512 on Gunmakers Row), where there is a fantastic subscription offer. If you subscribe to the magazine at the Game Fair not only will you save money (subscriptions will be discounted by 40 per cent, which means you will pay only £17.16 every three months by direct debit), but you will also receive a free bottle of The Balvenie Signature malt whisky, worth more than £30.
This 12-year-old whisky was created by Balvenies highly respected malt master David Stewart to celebrate his 45th year of working in the Scotch whisky industry. You can sample it at the Shooting Times stand and, remember, a bottle will be yours for free when you subscribe to Shooting Times at the Game Fair.
Staff and contributors, including Tony Jackson, John Humphreys and David Tomlinson, will be dropping in to the stand, and Keith Reynolds, the artist behind Shooting Timess hugely popular DOG cartoon will also be present, pen in hand. You will have the chance to buy original cartoons and view the larger paintings in Keiths Game Fair display.
Gunmakers Row is the largest shooting exhibition in the UK, with more than 170 stands, including the greatest number of English gunmakers, importers and related companies selling every imaginable accessory. The Clay Line was revamped last year with new major events for newcomers, experienced and occasional Shots of all shooting disciplines. There will be daily 40-bird competitions with classes in gold, silver, bronze, ladies and junior sections. The junior competition is open to those aged 16 years and under. Coaching provided by BASC, the Countryside Alliance and the CPSA will be available for beginners and more experienced Shots with all guns and equipment provided. Other stands include Duck Flush and Crazy Quail with daily cash prizes, and the Bath Muzzle and Historic Breechloaders Association will be giving visitors an insight into the art of shooting antique guns.
Gamekeepers Row, Estate Management, Woodland and Forestry Management,and Energies and Rural Futures have all been brought together this year in one section of the Game Fair named the Land Management Exhibition. This area caters for rural professionals but will be relevant to anyone interested in the equipment and services relating to all aspects of land management and fieldsports.
Gamekeepers Row will be of interest to professionals and shooters in general, featuring shoot vehicles, feeders, gamelarders, specialist clothing, covercrops, drinkers, gamefeeds, vehicles, fencing and pens. In addition, gamefarmers will have displays of live pheasants and partridges, and the various gamekeeping associations will have stands.
Shooting Timess Simon Whitehead will be on the Pugs and Drummers stand, happy to give advice on anything to do with ferreting. The stand will provide demonstrations of net-making and ferreting throughout the show. In addition, the Independent Ferret Group will be running ferret races, a seminar and workshop on showing and judging ferrets as well as running long-net displays. Liam Brinded will also show 20 ferrets as part of his own special display.
Gundogs on show
The Gundog Area will play host to international championships, gundog competitions, demonstrations, the working dog ring and the Sporting Dog Pavilion. Emphasis will be on visitor participation and displaying the very best of British gundogs.
For tickets and more information, visit www.gamefair.co.uk