Game Fair at Hatfield House – 26-28 July 2019

Ann Harrison reports:

The 2019 Game Fair at Hatfield House will be remembered for the weather (especially Thursday’s record heat followed by pea sized hailstones during the evening meal), and for the Terrier Tent being situated deep in Gundog territory. Manchester Terrier folk who do Breed Stands are renowned for making the best of everything so both challenges were surmounted with vigour.

For the first there was a brief how-many-people-and-dogs-fit-in-a-caravan experiment, and for the second, well we just had to join in their jollities and show how Terriers can perform. We Raced, we Scrambled, and we Scurried. We took our own ‘dummies’ for events that required a retrieve, or we took a frisbee. We raced in ones, twos and threes and we did it in both the Lurcher Ring (where the dogs are on first name terms with all the commentators) and the Main Ring.

We Paraded with the other Terrier Breeds in the Lurcher Ring and the Horse and Hound Ring and whilst we pointed out the versatility of our dogs who do Agility, Showing, Racing, Obedience, (and Gun Dog Events – who knew?!) We also emphasised that they are all our precious companions who keep us warm of an evening on the sofa. We probably do as much Breed Promotion while walking around the Showground, it is hard to make progress when you keep getting stopped and asked about them.

We found the Manchester Gin Stand (perfect photo opportunity) and an elderly gentleman regaled us with his saying from ‘the good old days’ when he assured us the Breed had to have “The head of a Snake, the neck of a Drake, the back of a Beam and the tail of a Rat!” Not sure that entirely agrees with today’s KC Breed Standard but each to their own!

All the dogs got on amazingly well, and the younger ones gained confidence and social skills by the bucketful as the days went on. The older ones just had a ball as usual. Huge thanks as always to the participants who give up so much time to take part, and thankyou to the visitors who came to see us.

Added to the names on the blackboard we also met Eli, Mercedes and one who I did not catch the name of, but I know she is Lexi’s grand-daughter and is keeping up the family tradition in the racing. By the end of the 3 days we had finally got our bearings and could traverse the huge site without getting lost, so we went to see the magnificent House and the lovely old Oak trees under which the first Princess Elizabeth was sitting when she learned she was to be Queen. Whilst it was admittedly little damp and muddy underfoot The Game Fair certainly knew that the Manchester Terriers were in residence – for all the right reasons!

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