The Great Game Fairs of Ireland
 

Country Sports & Country Life

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Attractions

The great Game Fairs of Ireland team's objective is to deliver great country sports and lifestyle events that celebrate the Irish countryside and the rural way of life.

Carriage Rooms
The Carriage Rooms - the location of the fashion show, medieval buffet and bar

Montalto Estate, the venue for this new and in some ways more stylish event has not only a rich history which ties in well with the attractions we have planned for the Game Fair , but has been beautifully restored to possibly even surpass its gracious past. The promotional video posted elsewhere on the site gives just a few glimpses of the beautiful grounds and facilities which we trust visitors will not only enjoy but respect. Weather permitting the house will be open for public tours for a small additional fee.

GAME FAIR ATTRACTIONS FOR COUNTRY SPORTS ENTHUSIASTS

  • Top quality Terrier, Lurcher, Whippet and Ferret Competitons Saturday 24th September
  • Great Clay Shooting Competitions over two days on new course with two guns ( each worth over £1200) and other excellent cash prizes
  • Super Retriever and Spaniel Tests and Scurry with brilliant prizes
  • Fly Tying & Casting Instruction and Demonstration by APGAI Ireland
  • Superb range of guns & accessories; antique weaponry ; fishing tackle and country clothing and fashion. PLUS hearing protection stand INSTAMOLD.
  • The attractions of the Salmon & Woodcock Pavilion with Sporting Art from John Moore, Taxidermy from Ingrid Houwers; an information stand from DAERA Fisheries division with Fish Tank and Fly Tying by Frankie McMullan.
  • Information stands from the sporting organisations including CAI and FISSTA.

PLUS TWO REALLY BIG ATTRACTIONS :

Direct from the UK comes international shooting expert Mike Yardley and from Strangford Lough to the Lake at Montalto Estate, comes a puntgun operated by the only female puntgunner in the world!

Albert Titterington said: "Most shooting enthusiasts of this generation will only have seen punt guns in history books and certainly won't have see one in action - until now!

"The puntgun will be paddled by Liz Edgar, a young lady who we understand is the only female puntgunner in the world and she is returning to her native County Down from the Highlands of Scotland especially for the occasion.

Punt Gun

"Despite only being in her twenties, Liz is no stranger to game shooting, wildfowling and stalking having practised them all since her childhood in her native Downpatrick. We are delighted that she is making a special trip to Montalto Estate where, along with her brother Mark, she will demonstrate the puntgunning and wildfowling skills which her forbears practised over 100 years ago."

Claiming another major coup for the Game Fair, Albert Titterington also announced that Mike Yardley, one of really 'big guns' in the shooting world, would also be at the show.

Albert said: "A renowned broadcaster and writer, practical shooting coach and much more, Mike Yardley is one of the best known personalities in the shooting world. Along with gunsmith Chis Symonds, Mike will be fitting guns and testing eye dominance at the show, using the unique methods that have led him to write two books on the subject.

Mike Yardley

"Without doubt, a well fitted gun is essential to good shooting and may transform performance. Many struggle on for years with ill-fitting guns or eye-dominance issues not realising just how much they are impeding themselves. And now there is a unique opportunity to sort out your gunfit just as the season commences. Mike will also be available to discuss all matters related to guns, shooting and competition as well."

LOTS FOR FAMILIES

Some of the attractions that will keep children and families entertained are :

Free Carousel rides for all for two days

Carousel

Special children's all day ticket for just £3 to the Vortex attraction

The Living History Village featuring re-enactors from the Battle of Ballynahinch and the Knights of the North from the Borders of Scotland

John De Courcy dominated Down and in fact much of Ireland. He who was a great supporter of the work of St Patrick and was responsible for the building of Inch Abbey and Dundrum Castle (also in Co Antrim he built Carrickfergus Castle). He was also responsible for striking the first NI coin which forms the basis of the logo of the Down County Museum. It is based on a coin minted by de Courcy, about 1190, probably in Downpatrick. It has the name of Patrick, with a crozier, on one side and of de Courcy on the other. It was a symbolic linking of the religious and political associations of the area and because it did not bear the head of Prince John, Lord of Ireland, it was a declaration of independence by de Courcy.

John de Courcy
John de Courcy

And to celebrate this association Grunal Monet facsimile coin maker to the British museum has struck a special replica copy of the coin through which you can own a little piece of County Down history. who will be present with his colourful display of vintage coins.

Grunal Moneta
Grunal Moneta

  • All sorts of animals from falcons to ferrets and even snakes & spiders to handle.
  • Bygones area featuring vehicles and farming methods from the past
  • Lots of 'Have a Go' activities including air rifle shooting, archery, and angling activities.
  • Fine food Festival in two locations - the stable yard and the Country Living Market Place.
  • Music to suit all tastes including pipe bands, country & western and Ulster Scots Music from Stonewall.
  • Over 100 trade stands giving a great shopping experience with lots of bargains
  • Country Fashion Show each day in the walled garden at 3.00pm featuring fashion from Isabella Paige and a huge Barbour Collection from Smyths of Coleraine.
  • Medieval buffet in the atmospheric setting of the grand banqueting hall of the Carriage Rooms.
  • Subject to weather conditions the house will be open to the public for guided tours for a small additional fee.
  • Cookery demonstration theatre featuring Emmett Mc Court and Kelan McMichael
  • Children's and re-homed dog show Saturday organised by the Gundog Rescuing and Re-homing Group.

LIVING HISTORY

Montalto Estate, the Ballynahinch and Down Council areas are steeped in history which will be reflected in the displays and demonstrations. The Battle of Ballynahinch was fought not only in the streets of Ballynahinch but also on Ednavaddy Hill in the estate. Re-enactments of skirmishes in the estate and town will be recreated and there will be a rebel/army encampment on the estate where children can have a real living history lesson by interaction with re-enactors from Living History Ireland. And the legendary heroine of the battle, Betsy Gray, will be brought to life.

Skimishes on the estate and Betsy Gray
Skimishes on the estate and Betsy Gray

A SPECTACULAR MAIN ARENA PROGRAMME

Running from 10.00 am to 5.00 pm the action packed main arena entertainment will be a rich and eclectic mix of country sports and living history entertainment and will include Battle of Ballynahinch re-enactments; medieval revelry including sword fighting; free flying falconry; The Victorian Poacher and long netting displays; sheepdog display by Shannon Conn winner of Countryfile's One Man and His Dog 2016; ; dancing horses, muzzle loading; canine displays ; fly casting displays; beagle displays; etc And in their separate arena - Jousting by the Knights of the North. See Programme for full details

Jousting

FREE SHUTTLE BUS FROM BALLYNAHINCH TOWN CENTRE TO THE ESTATE Saturday 12.00 noon to 5.00om and on Sunday from Dromore Street from 12.00am to 4.00pm

Ireland's Real Game Fairs © Ballynahinch Harvest & County Living Festival