Tuesday, 24 April 2012

Kelmarsh Game & Country Fair .

Weekend just gone i was at a loose end and was itching to get out and do something that i haven't done before . Then i saw a post from a good friend of mine, Steve Magennis , on Facebook . That he was attending Kelmarsh Hall  selling his wildlife photographic prints and cards . I suggest you take some time to have a look at his work on his website . I have made his name as a link to his site . His work is fantastic . He really is a talented wildlife photographer .

 Steve has recently added working dogs as a new part of his galleries . He said that last year was his first full season taking images of working dogs . You would think that he has been doing these events all his life !!! I was blown away by the prints that he had for sale . Simply stunning !!!

So , i got up nice and early , put my camera into my newly acquired ,Lowepro Stealth 650 ,  shoulder bag . I got this bag for events like this and for doing weddings . This means that i  can get to my cameras and lenses easier than when i use my Lowepro Mini Trekker backpack bag . I packed myself a flask , my wellies and  some fruit !!! I am trying to eat a bit more healthy at the moment !!

It took just over an hour to get there in my trusty old Land Rover . I was one of the first to arrive , so was parked right near the entrance :-) . I changed footwear and headed across the muddy field to the show .

I was in doggy heaven !! There were dogs everywhere i looked . It seemed that everyone had taken their dog with them . There were Spaniels of all types , Labradors , Hungarian Viszlas and a group of people were walking around with several Dobermans :-) .

I headed to the main arena and watched a demo by ,Brian 'Brin' Brinded , about how he uses long nets and his Lurchers and Border Terriers for keeping the Rabbit population down on farms in his local area . I then went for a wander around the whole event , looking at all the suppliers and fussing as many dogs as i could .

There was a fantastic food marquee  that had food from every corner of the world . And i was drawn to one stall selling Salami and other dry cured sausages . They were doing a show special of 7 different meats for £10 !!! That was the healthy eating out of the window , as i had  tasted the samples and they were out of this world . One was covered in whole black pepper corns . And boy did they pack a punch . Then i found some fantastic Cheese . So i came out of the tent a bit lighter in the wallet , but with some smelly Cheese and a bag of wonderful spicy sausages !!

I made my way to where Steve was showing his prints . I hadn't seen Steve for some years . We had a good natter and put the world to rights . I spoke to Steve about one of his courses that he has coming up . He is running a day course photographing Foxes . This i have to go on , so i am booking onto it . You will no doubt see some of the the photos once i have done the course . Once again , look at Steves website for all the details on his courses . I would recommend  his courses as you will come away with some fantastic results . And a wealth of new knowledge .

It was then back to the main arena to watch the Ribblesdale Labradors and their trainer and owner , Ricky Maloney . This guy has an amazing way with his dogs . The way his dogs understand him and do as he wants them to do blew me away .

A sit down , drink and a bit of fruit ( yes i left the cheese and sausage alone !!) and it was on to watch some of the other goings on in the arenas . One of which was the Boyd Exell Carriage Driving Display . This is a carriage pulled by four stunning horses . And they were incredible . The speeds that they got up to in the arena was breath taking . The way Boyd got this carriage and horses to turn and get through gates amazed me . Again , take a look at his site for more info .

There were demos from various other people . Using Collies to gather and move a herd of Geese . An amazing Falconry display . The Northamptonshire Pipe Band played a few tunes for us . Hearing bag pipes always sends a chill down my spine . Maybe it's something to do with my Scottish heritage ??

The highlight for me was watching the Hunt and Hound Parade . Within this were The Westerby Basset Hounds . Which were lovely looking dogs . As well as the normal Fox Hounds . It amazes me how fit these dogs always look . And how they are so up for their work .

The big black clouds were making rain look imminent  . So it was time for a huge Pastie and head for the Land Rover . Just as i climbed in , the heavens opened up . I had just made it :-) While eating my Pastie i was watching someone in their 4 wheel drive VW Touran attempting to get out of the now very soggy field . I shouldn't have laughed , but all 4 wheels were spinning and the car was going nowhere !!! I had cleared the Landy out a few days erlier , so couldn't tow her out of the holes that she had now made . But luckily someone else in a Japanese 4x4 had a tow rope and had her out in no time . It made me wonder if these road cars with 4 wheel drive are really worth having ;-)

Pastie finished , fun over , it was time to head back home and download the my photos from the day . Below are a small selction from what turned out to be an amazing day .

Oh , i didn't tell you about the new air rifles that i looked at !!!! Think it's time to save up , as i fell in love with a few Air Arms Rifles . But i won't tell my wife how much they really cost :-)

 Waiting for her turn on the retrieve course .
 Having a rest from al the fuss and fun .
 Basset Hounds , with a Fox Hound joining the fun as well .
 Wonderful Tawny Owl .
Making walking sticks from Hazel branches . And doing it the old fashioned way . With hand tools !!

Hope you have enjoyed this little write up . There are a good few more Country Fairs coming up this year around the country . I really would recommend attending one . It makes a fantastic day out for all the family .
View more of my images on my website http://www.eternityimages.co.uk/Home.aspx
Thanks Mark


holdingmoments said...

Looks a great day out Mark.
Every year I've often thought of attending one, and never got round to it. Maybe I should make the effort.

Mark said...

It was a great day , Keith . I will keep my eye ouit for any more that come up and let you know . We could make a day out of it if you like ? You will love the cheese that you can buy there lol

holdingmoments said...

Sounds like a good idea.
Cheese, hmmmmm lol

Bob Bushell said...

The Barn Owl looks really special.

Mark said...

Thanks Bob . I thought the bird lovers might like that .