Several weeks ago we received a flyer in the post advertising the Living Heritage Cheshire Game & Country Fair. We have never visited the Fair before, even though we live less than 20 minutes away. The flyer promoted itself on being dog friendly, inviting you to bring your dog along with you. We had nothing planned for the August Bank Holiday so figured why not give it a go.
We set off Saturday morning and arrived at the showground in the gorgeous Cheshire countryside. It cost us just over £30 for the 3 of us plus Mia (there was no charge for dogs) to gain entry into the fair. We had never been before, and had no idea what to expect. We have paid a similar amount in the past for Dogfest and found it a bit of a let down as we were in and out within a hour. We needn’t have worried, we were in the showground for over 4 hours and we could have happily stayed longer
It was working and gun-dog central, the most popular breeds being Labradors (nearly all black) and spaniels – my favourites! Of course there were lots of other dogs there too, we saw Boxers, Dachshunds, Labradoodles, Greyhounds, Lurchers and many more. Dogs were allowed everywhere, including in the marquees, they just had to be kept on leads. There were some lovely breed specific stalls dedicated to breeds such as the Skye Terrier, Chesapeake Retreivers, Beagles, Bloodhounds and much more. A great place to learn and meet the breeds. We even met a very tiny Police dog in training.
There was something for everyone – fair ground rides, food stalls, a cookery demonstration tent, air riffle & archery ranges, shot gun range, fishing pond, ice cream stands, classic & military car display, falconry displays and demonstrations and even ferret racing! Mia decided she did not want to enter the falconry marquee, there was a rather vocal buzzard and a very large (bigger than Mia) eagle so she sat patiently at the entrance sunning herself whilst the rest of us looked round
The three arenas offered demonstrations on everything from Horse-boarding to working ferrets, fly casting to falconry. We particularly enjoyed the demonstration on working ferrets. Mia was rather bemused by it all and decided she would turn her back and watch the world go by whilst sun bathing!
However, her attention was soon ours when we entered the World of Dogs section. First up was doggy lucky dip and sausage bobbing. £1 a go (in aid of Greyhound Gap). First she was allowed to select a tennis ball from a tub and won a doggy prize dependent on the number on the ball. Mia won a little bag of dog treats which she immediately wanted to eat. She then decided to have a go at Sausage Bobbing – a small turtle paddling pool filled with water and a lovely young lady who would place a few bits of cut sausage in so that Mia could “bob” for it. Mia did not get it at all! She is not your typical water loving Labrador. She likes streams, the sea, edge of a lake, but she hates going out of her depth, hates getting her tummy wet and she does not like putting her nose under the water! So after much coaxing we gave up and she was allowed to “forage” for her sausages off the grass instead!
Next up we decided to try our hand at agility. We patiently waited our turn, watching people fail miserably but still having a great time, laughing all the way round. We were feeling rather confident that Mia would give it a good go and hopefully do a few jumps. We watched the dog in front of us take their position- a collie. Good job we weren’t placing bets because we would have been hustled. The collie did the whole course perfectly, weaving neatly between the poles, running smoothly through tunnels, and gracefully climbing the ramps. Our turn came, we entered the ring and I suddenly realised that every one was watching us, great – no pressure. I unhooked her lead and decided that the best course of action was to do it with her. The first jump I nearly hoofed her in the face. The second jump I did with but she ran round. We tried to entice her through the soft tunnel – nope and she missed a few more jumps. Then, around number 8 she decided she was going to jump and everyone cheered for her! From then on she did most of the jumps, maybe not first time round but she did do them eventually. She even went up and over the ramped obstacles. She was very pleased with herself when she had finished but obviously was not really sure why we were making such a fuss of her!
Next up “Fastest recall” – we always joke that she is my shadow, she follows me everywhere so we decided that husband would take the long walk up the run and release her back to me. The referees arm went up, husband and I signalled we were ready and he released Mia. What followed was approximately 4-5 seconds of me shouting Mia and her stood at the end of the row looking around and sniffing the ground. Suddenly she clocked me and hurtled towards me – time of just over 12 seconds! The fastest so far that day had been just under 4 seconds! We had another run to take, this run was nearer 8s so we took our victory, accepted our participation certificate and left the World of Dogs laughing and smiling. At least she tried!
There were some lovely examples of working and gun dogs. Mia would never be a gun dog – she hated the section with the shot guns, she can’t even find her tennis ball unless she sees where it lands. But we don’t care, she is part of our family. She is our big bundle of malting black fluff and we wouldn’t have her any other way.
We had a lovely day at the fair, husband even treated himself in the air riffle tent – apparently every house needs a Zombie target box! We have vowed to return next year and would recommend it to anyone who loves the countryside and all its loveliness. There was even a marque dedicated to the National Hamster Council – who knew there was such a thing!
We had a lot of fun. There were lots of gun dogs there. The first tent we went in was the signal1 tent and they had a guess how many chocolates are in the jar – my guess was 135. They give u a leaflet and a free pen then they take your photo holding your number and give u a flag. Me and dad spotted a tent based around guns and the people who ran it had supplied guns for films such as the new Dads Army and they met the Margo Robbie who put in a special request, they ended up making Harley Quinns love/hate gun for the film Suicide Squad. We bought nothing the first time around but at the end looped back and bought a light weight air rifle and a magnet zombie target .I went on a donkey ride, riding the black one called Toby because we was the tallest and he reminded me of the amazing defender of Gotham City, Batman. We then went to the national hamster council and they had lots and lots of cute hamsters in that tent and a charity stand to help make money. I bought a tiny cute little duck from the 10p basket, a blue beaded crocodile key ring ( I’m obsessed) from the 50p basket and a hand knitted owl key ring for £2 . I really wanted this huge duck but a it had about 10 money spiders in it from being sat in a tent all day and because mum said no . I went on the fun house and the chair-o-planes . I also got a purple 3d walking elephant balloon which I named Jo-j . Then Mia and floppy dog went on the dog agility and flop beat his auntie Mia!
woof woof woof amazing
Thanks for reading are adventures! x