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Princess Royal visits Game Fair at Alcester where organisers say £60m was spent



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THE Princess Royal flew into Alcester on Friday (29th July) as the Game Fair returned to Ragley Hall for a celebration of the countryside.

The event opened with a gun salute, led by film star Vinnie Jones, to thank the Marquess of Hertford for lending his estate to the huge event, a cross between a country fair, a major shopping opportunity and a display of countryside pursuits.

Princess Anne at the Game Fair (58383560)
Princess Anne at the Game Fair (58383560)

Across the three days more than 120,000 visitors attended the Game Fair, matching a record set last year when the event was one of just a few outdoor shows to go ahead following the lifting of Covid restrictions.

It is estimated that more than £60m was spent at the show.

Among the famous faces in attendance this year was the Princess Royal, who toured the show and presented the inaugural Prince Philip Distinguished Service Awards.

The crowds were out in force at the Ragley Hall Game Fair on Sunday. Photo: Mark Williamson. (58377088)
The crowds were out in force at the Ragley Hall Game Fair on Sunday. Photo: Mark Williamson. (58377088)

Entertainment in the areas – there are many scattered around the site – ranged from the running of the Shetland Pony Grand National and falconry displays to fishing demonstrations and children getting the chance to meet the varied hounds from local hunts.

The crack of shotgun fire could be heard coming from the ever-popular shooting lane where, nearby, there was also the chance to try archery or let children shoot air rifles at targets, under the supervision of the experts.

Welsh springers and their owners enjoying the the Ragley Hall Game Fair on Sunday. Photo: Mark Williamson. (58376652)
Welsh springers and their owners enjoying the the Ragley Hall Game Fair on Sunday. Photo: Mark Williamson. (58376652)

And if you’re wondering how £60m was spent at the show, then we can explain – there are thousands of ways to part with your money, people can shop for almost anything at the Game Fair. From the latest – and very expensive – piece of farm machinery to guns, fashion, antiques, items for dogs (and other animals) classic cars and watches, it was all on sale. Our favourites included a Star Wars Death Star fire pit and a VW camper van bar.

Food options were also plentiful, with James Martin running a kitchen for the more upmarket diners and cookery demonstrations taking place throughout the weekend.

James Gower, managing director for the Game Fair said: “Last year was exceptional welcoming crowds on an unprecedented scale. We were not sure entirely sure what to expect this year and to have repeated it is a reflection of the country’s passion for the countryside, rural businesses and its culture. Visitors are not ‘day-outers’ they are the stakeholders of the countryside and they were here in droves to support it and celebrate.”

Host the Marquess of Hertford pictured taking a tour of the Ragley Hall Game Fair on Sunday. Photo: Mark Williamson. (58377107)
Host the Marquess of Hertford pictured taking a tour of the Ragley Hall Game Fair on Sunday. Photo: Mark Williamson. (58377107)
A Pony club rider in action at the Ragley Hall Game Fair. Photo: Mark Williamson. (58377091)
A Pony club rider in action at the Ragley Hall Game Fair. Photo: Mark Williamson. (58377091)
The was a demonstration of log hauling by this shire horse at the Ragley Hall Game Fair. Photo: Mark Williamson. (58376668)
The was a demonstration of log hauling by this shire horse at the Ragley Hall Game Fair. Photo: Mark Williamson. (58376668)
Steve Buller of Willow Pool Designs demonstrated his skills with willow at the Ragley Hall Game Fair. Photo: Mark Williamson. (58377085)
Steve Buller of Willow Pool Designs demonstrated his skills with willow at the Ragley Hall Game Fair. Photo: Mark Williamson. (58377085)
A Pony club rider in action at the Ragley Hall Game Fair. Photo: Mark Williamson. (58377091)
A Pony club rider in action at the Ragley Hall Game Fair. Photo: Mark Williamson. (58377091)
These dogs enjoyed a run out at the Ragley Hall Game Fair. Photo: Mark Williamson. (58377090)
These dogs enjoyed a run out at the Ragley Hall Game Fair. Photo: Mark Williamson. (58377090)
Pony Club sack racing in the grand ring at the Ragley Hall Game Fair. Photo: Mark Williamson. (58377093)
Pony Club sack racing in the grand ring at the Ragley Hall Game Fair. Photo: Mark Williamson. (58377093)
All smiles from the Oakley Hunt West Pony Club team of riders after winning the mounted games in the main ring ar the Ragley Hall Game Fair. Photo: Mark Williamson. (58377094)
All smiles from the Oakley Hunt West Pony Club team of riders after winning the mounted games in the main ring ar the Ragley Hall Game Fair. Photo: Mark Williamson. (58377094)
A rider takes a fence in the main ring inter hunt relay at the Ragley Hall Game Fair. Photo: Mark Williamson. (58377095)
A rider takes a fence in the main ring inter hunt relay at the Ragley Hall Game Fair. Photo: Mark Williamson. (58377095)
This little girl was intruiged by this bull shaped barbeque at the Ragley Hall Game Fair. Photo: Mark Williamson. (58377099)
This little girl was intruiged by this bull shaped barbeque at the Ragley Hall Game Fair. Photo: Mark Williamson. (58377099)
This dog wasn’t too sure what to make of the rhinoceros at the Ragley Hall Game Fair. Photo: Mark Williamson. (58377098)
This dog wasn’t too sure what to make of the rhinoceros at the Ragley Hall Game Fair. Photo: Mark Williamson. (58377098)
There was a touch of the Planet of the Apes on one stand at the Ragley Hall Game Fair. Photo: Mark Williamson. (58376679)
There was a touch of the Planet of the Apes on one stand at the Ragley Hall Game Fair. Photo: Mark Williamson. (58376679)
Making for the top on the climbing wall at the Ragley Hall Game Fair. Photo: Mark Williamson. (58377100)
Making for the top on the climbing wall at the Ragley Hall Game Fair. Photo: Mark Williamson. (58377100)
This small electrically driven excavator displayed at the Ragley Hall Game Fair. Photo: Mark Williamson. (58376678)
This small electrically driven excavator displayed at the Ragley Hall Game Fair. Photo: Mark Williamson. (58376678)
The crowd around the grand ring at the Ragley Hall Game Fair. Photo: Mark Williamson. (58377089)
The crowd around the grand ring at the Ragley Hall Game Fair. Photo: Mark Williamson. (58377089)
All smiles from exhibitor Lesley Churmat the Ragley Hall Game Fair. Photo: Mark Williamson. (58376677)
All smiles from exhibitor Lesley Churmat the Ragley Hall Game Fair. Photo: Mark Williamson. (58376677)
It was a long day for some at the Ragley Hall Game Fair. Photo: Mark Williamson. (58377113)
It was a long day for some at the Ragley Hall Game Fair. Photo: Mark Williamson. (58377113)
It was a big shopping day for some at the Ragley Hall Game Fair. Photo: Mark Williamson. (58377103)
It was a big shopping day for some at the Ragley Hall Game Fair. Photo: Mark Williamson. (58377103)
The was an impressive display of classic sports cars for visitors to enjoy at the Ragley Hall Game Fair. Photo: Mark Williamson. (58376681)
The was an impressive display of classic sports cars for visitors to enjoy at the Ragley Hall Game Fair. Photo: Mark Williamson. (58376681)


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