The Game Fair at Hatfield House hailed a success by organisers

PUBLISHED: 15:24 04 August 2017 | UPDATED: 15:37 04 August 2017

Stylish visitors to The Game Fair at Hatfield House

Stylish visitors to The Game Fair at Hatfield House

Andrew Crowley

Organisers of The Game Fair are celebrating after more than 115,000 people attended the three-day event at Hatfield House last weekend.

Shetland Pony racing at The Game Fair Shetland Pony racing at The Game Fair

A total of 116,326 people attended the ‘festival of the great British countryside’ at the Hertfordshire stately home – an eight per cent increase on the previous year.

James Gower, managing director of The Game Fair, said: “This is a precious event, a British institution that is loved by hundreds of thousands of people and vitally important for the industries it represents.

“We feel honoured to be the organisers of it but it is the efforts of an incredible team and an entire community that makes it happen.”

This was the 59th Game Fair, which started in 1958, and it was the first time the show had been held at Hatfield House.

Jose Sauto and JB Gill cooking up a storm in The Field Kitchen Theatre at The Game Fair in the grounds of Hatfield House Jose Sauto and JB Gill cooking up a storm in The Field Kitchen Theatre at The Game Fair in the grounds of Hatfield House

Next year’s diamond anniversary event will be held at Ragley Hall in Warwickshire, before the fair returns to Hatfield in 2019 from July 26-28.

Lord Salisbury said: “The Hatfield House team work with many event organisers so they have an appreciation of the good and bad.

“They have found The Game Fair team to be one of the best they’ve worked with.

“The event is in safe, professional and secure hands.

Le Chameau's master bootmaker demo at The Game Fair Le Chameau's master bootmaker demo at The Game Fair

“We look forward to welcoming them back in 2019.”

This year’s Game Fair was opened last Friday morning with a spectacular 59-gun salute on Gunmakers’ Row.

Saturday turned out to be the busiest day for visitors, although heavy rain in the afternoon meant that Sunday’s attendees were greeted by mud and stylish boots were the essential fashion item of the day.

As the world’s largest outdoor fieldsports-themed show, attractions included gundog handling, archery, fly fishing, coarse fishing, falconry, ferreting and, of course, shooting, which took place on Europe’s largest shooting line consisting of traps, layouts and varied disciplines.

Visitors enjoying the Shetland Pony racing at The Game Fair Visitors enjoying the Shetland Pony racing at The Game Fair

Among the visitors to the show were Made in Chelsea reality star Binky Felstead with her newborn daughter India, who watched Josh ‘JP’ Patterson in the Shoot with the Stars competition, Olympic gold medallist Peter Wilson, who took part in the clay shooting, and BBC Countryfile presenter Adam Henson.

MasterChef presenter Gregg Wallace mingled with diners in the Shot to Pot Restaurant, while Voice UK singer Lawrence Hill and Location, Location, Location property show presenter Phil Spencer also competed in the clay shooting competition.

Former England rugby star Phil Vickery presented the prize in the Best Dressed Keeper competition, while controversial former UKIP leader Nigel Farage gave a talk on fishing in the Carter Jonas Game Fair Theatre.

Chef José Souto also wowed the crowds cooking game in The Field Kitchen Theatre and was joined by former JLS singer-turned-farmer JB Gill.

Marina Gibson instructs a youngster in the Fishing Village at The Game Fair Marina Gibson instructs a youngster in the Fishing Village at The Game Fair

Elsewhere, there was show jumping, Shetland Pony racing and falconry displays to enjoy, as well as 800 exhibitors.

Mark Osbourne, of gunmakers William Powell, said: “We have been coming to The Game Fair for more than 25 years and we sold more guns at Hatfield House than any Game Fair ever before.”

David Robinson, CEO from boot brand Le Chameau, said: “The opportunity The Game Fair gave us to engage with our core audience was unsurpassed.

“The traffic on our stand throughout the weekend was incredible and we were perhaps one of the only exhibitors happy that it rained!”

Gregg Wallace talking to customers in the Shot to Pot restaurant at The Game Fair Gregg Wallace talking to customers in the Shot to Pot restaurant at The Game Fair

Fishing competitions and demonstrations took place on purpose-built casting pools in the main arena and on the River Lea, the river that runs through the Hatfield House estate.

Adrian Woolford, from Orvis, said: “I would like to thank the organisers for a very well-managed and well-attended Game Fair this year.

“Orvis were proud sponsors of the Fishing Village, which was brought into the centre of the show for the first time.

“The Game Fair was the perfect environment to spend time with people with shared passions.”

Nigel Farage talks fishing in the Carter Jonas Game Fair Theatre at The Game Fair. Nigel Farage talks fishing in the Carter Jonas Game Fair Theatre at The Game Fair.

• Tickets for The Game Fair 2018 are now on sale at www.thegamefair.org

A Penny Farthing at The Game Fair A Penny Farthing at The Game Fair

The Pony Club mounted games at The Game Fair The Pony Club mounted games at The Game Fair

Red stag taxidermy Red stag taxidermy

A woman tries on hat at the M&G stand at The 2017 Game Fair festival held at Hatfield House, A woman tries on hat at the M&G stand at The 2017 Game Fair festival held at Hatfield House,

Many items of fashion were on sale at The Game Fair for those wanting the country look Many items of fashion were on sale at The Game Fair for those wanting the country look

The Field Kitchen Theatre cookery demonstration at The Game Fair. The Field Kitchen Theatre cookery demonstration at The Game Fair.

The Game Fair's MD James Gower. The Game Fair's MD James Gower.

A tired dog at The Game Fair. A tired dog at The Game Fair.

An owl at The Game Fair 2017 at Hatfield House An owl at The Game Fair 2017 at Hatfield House

A dog agility show at The Game Fair at Hatfield House A dog agility show at The Game Fair at Hatfield House

The Game Fair 2017 opened with a 59-gun salute at Hatfield House The Game Fair 2017 opened with a 59-gun salute at Hatfield House

The Game Fair began with a 59-gun salute. The Game Fair began with a 59-gun salute.

Dartmoor Hawking's horseback falconry display at The Game Fair Dartmoor Hawking's horseback falconry display at The Game Fair

Scurry driving at The Game Fair at Hatfield House Scurry driving at The Game Fair at Hatfield House

Casting tuition by the River Lea at Hatfield House at The Game Fair Casting tuition by the River Lea at Hatfield House at The Game Fair

Casting tuition by the River Lea at Hatfield House at The Game Fair Casting tuition by the River Lea at Hatfield House at The Game Fair

Child playing with fox hounds at The Game Fair Child playing with fox hounds at The Game Fair

Clay shooting at The Game Fair 2017 Clay shooting at The Game Fair 2017

Collecting for The Game Fair's official charity - The Lord's Taverners Collecting for The Game Fair's official charity - The Lord's Taverners

The start of The 2017 Game Fair festival held at Hatfield House The start of The 2017 Game Fair festival held at Hatfield House

The Game Fair 2017 at Hatfield House. Picture: Danny Loo The Game Fair 2017 at Hatfield House. Picture: Danny Loo

The Game Fair 2017 at Hatfield House. Picture: Danny Loo The Game Fair 2017 at Hatfield House. Picture: Danny Loo

The Game Fair 2017 at Hatfield House. Picture: Danny Loo The Game Fair 2017 at Hatfield House. Picture: Danny Loo

The Game Fair 2017 at Hatfield House. Picture: Danny Loo The Game Fair 2017 at Hatfield House. Picture: Danny Loo

The Game Fair 2017 at Hatfield House. Picture: Danny Loo The Game Fair 2017 at Hatfield House. Picture: Danny Loo

The Game Fair 2017 at Hatfield House. Picture: Danny Loo The Game Fair 2017 at Hatfield House. Picture: Danny Loo

The Game Fair 2017 at Hatfield House. Picture: Danny Loo The Game Fair 2017 at Hatfield House. Picture: Danny Loo

The Game Fair 2017 at Hatfield House. Picture: Danny Loo The Game Fair 2017 at Hatfield House. Picture: Danny Loo

The Game Fair 2017 at Hatfield House. Picture: Danny Loo The Game Fair 2017 at Hatfield House. Picture: Danny Loo

The Game Fair 2017 at Hatfield House. Picture: Danny Loo The Game Fair 2017 at Hatfield House. Picture: Danny Loo

The Game Fair 2017 at Hatfield House. Picture: Danny Loo The Game Fair 2017 at Hatfield House. Picture: Danny Loo

The Game Fair 2017 at Hatfield House. Picture: Danny Loo The Game Fair 2017 at Hatfield House. Picture: Danny Loo

The Game Fair 2017 at Hatfield House. Picture: Danny Loo The Game Fair 2017 at Hatfield House. Picture: Danny Loo

The Game Fair 2017 at Hatfield House. Picture: Danny Loo The Game Fair 2017 at Hatfield House. Picture: Danny Loo

The Game Fair 2017 at Hatfield House. Picture: Danny Loo The Game Fair 2017 at Hatfield House. Picture: Danny Loo

The Game Fair 2017 at Hatfield House. Picture: Danny Loo The Game Fair 2017 at Hatfield House. Picture: Danny Loo

The Game Fair 2017 at Hatfield House. Picture: Danny Loo The Game Fair 2017 at Hatfield House. Picture: Danny Loo

The Game Fair 2017 at Hatfield House. Picture: Danny Loo The Game Fair 2017 at Hatfield House. Picture: Danny Loo

The Game Fair 2017 at Hatfield House. Picture: Danny Loo The Game Fair 2017 at Hatfield House. Picture: Danny Loo

The Game Fair 2017 at Hatfield House. Picture: Danny Loo The Game Fair 2017 at Hatfield House. Picture: Danny Loo

The Game Fair 2017 at Hatfield House. Picture: Danny Loo The Game Fair 2017 at Hatfield House. Picture: Danny Loo

The Game Fair 2017 at Hatfield House. Picture: Danny Loo The Game Fair 2017 at Hatfield House. Picture: Danny Loo

The Game Fair 2017 at Hatfield House. Picture: Danny Loo The Game Fair 2017 at Hatfield House. Picture: Danny Loo

The Game Fair 2017 at Hatfield House. Picture: Danny Loo The Game Fair 2017 at Hatfield House. Picture: Danny Loo

The Game Fair 2017 at Hatfield House. Picture: Danny Loo The Game Fair 2017 at Hatfield House. Picture: Danny Loo

The start of The 2017 Game Fair festival held at Hatfield House in Hertfordshire. The start of The 2017 Game Fair festival held at Hatfield House in Hertfordshire.

The Game Fair 2017 at Hatfield House. Picture: Danny Loo The Game Fair 2017 at Hatfield House. Picture: Danny Loo

The Game Fair 2017 at Hatfield House. Picture: Danny Loo The Game Fair 2017 at Hatfield House. Picture: Danny Loo

The Game Fair 2017 at Hatfield House. Picture: Danny Loo The Game Fair 2017 at Hatfield House. Picture: Danny Loo

The Game Fair 2017 at Hatfield House. Picture: Danny Loo The Game Fair 2017 at Hatfield House. Picture: Danny Loo

The Game Fair 2017 at Hatfield House. Picture: Danny Loo The Game Fair 2017 at Hatfield House. Picture: Danny Loo

The Game Fair 2017 at Hatfield House. Picture: Danny Loo The Game Fair 2017 at Hatfield House. Picture: Danny Loo

The Game Fair 2017 at Hatfield House. Picture: Danny Loo The Game Fair 2017 at Hatfield House. Picture: Danny Loo

Exhibitor Andrew Hawksley sorts through fishing rods at The Game Fair at Hatfield House in Hertfordshire Exhibitor Andrew Hawksley sorts through fishing rods at The Game Fair at Hatfield House in Hertfordshire

A falconry display at The Game Fair at Hatfield House A falconry display at The Game Fair at Hatfield House

Fishing guru Charles Jardine giving a demo at The Game Fair at Hatfield House Fishing guru Charles Jardine giving a demo at The Game Fair at Hatfield House

Fly tying at The Game Fair 2017 Fly tying at The Game Fair 2017

Gregg Wallace with 12-week-old baby Skye at The Game Fair Gregg Wallace with 12-week-old baby Skye at The Game Fair

Have-a-go airgun shooting at The Game Fair Have-a-go airgun shooting at The Game Fair

Gundog scurry at The Game Fair Gundog scurry at The Game Fair

Hounds parading at The Game Fair Hounds parading at The Game Fair

The Game Fair 2017 at Hatfield House The Game Fair 2017 at Hatfield House

The Game Fair 2017 at Hatfield House The Game Fair 2017 at Hatfield House

The Game Fair 2017 at Hatfield House The Game Fair 2017 at Hatfield House

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