Don’t Miss The Irish Game Fair At End Of June

Stampede to Shanes Castle for the Game Fair’s ‘Equine Extravaganza’.

Friday and Saturday 28-29th June at Shanes Castle, Antrim.

The Irish Game Fair at Shanes Castle famously showcases Northern Ireland’s uniquely precious heritage of country sports, pursuits and past-times, living history and our wonderful artisan food and drink sector on a world stage.

But now its time for everyone to saddle up, canter to the Castle and thrill to Knights on Horseback, Hungarian Horse Weaponry, the grace of stylish horses and carriages, working and driving donkey displays, the old world charm of Johnny Fee’s Gipsy Encampment (complete with horse powered threshing), the magic of Championship Winning Western Riding and of course the jousting Knights of the North.

Children get a chance for a hands-on petting session in the main ring with the Kiltullagh hounds at Shanes Castle last year.

Nominated for two tourism Oscars, listed in Trip Advisor, and with two dedicated programmes on TV last year, Fair Director Albert Titterington said the Irish Game Fair and Fine Food Festival at Shanes Castle, Antrim, on 28 & 29 June will be offering even more excitement and thrills for the public this year. 

Joking that the Shanes Game Fair would be simply going ‘horse loco’ in June with a host of really amazing new equine acts and displays, Fair Director Albert Titterington said: “As attendance levels demonstrate, our Game Fairs attract increasing numbers of international participants, competitors, exhibitors and visitors. I am delighted that what we do has received such amazing recognition around the world, and this year’s event will be even more entertaining for the public.

Albert said: “We have a brand new focus with our Equine Extravaganza that brings something brand new and really exciting to the Game Fair. There’s Hungarian Horseback Weaponry in action for the first time, Western Riding from the Cochise Stud, ‘way back when’ donkey working and driving displays, stylish horse driving action from the Whip & Collar Club and of course it’s everyone’s chance to get really up close and personal with hounds and horses on a petting session.”

The Knights of the North jousting at Shanes Castle Irish Game Fair.

For the first time too, The Hungarian Horseback Weapons Display team with Zoltan and Ari Foldvari will thrill Shanes Castle with their action packed, exciting displays using a variety of ancient weaponry mounted at the gallop.

Re-creating the historical equestrian and weaponry associated with the Scythians/Celtics and Huns centuries ago, Zoltan demonstrates the horseback and ground use of numerous different antique weapons, such as lance, axe, sable, sword, whip, bow, and hammer.

And if all that gets too hectic, the internationally acclaimed Whip & Collar Club will take you back to a time of traditional cob horses, gentile carriages and horse drawn vehicles, with outstanding driving teams in period costume.

Also first time fair-goers can return to an Ireland of the past, when the donkeys were king on every working farm across the land. An exclusive for Shanes Castle, the amazing Donkey Breed Society displays illustrate the unique role of the humble donkey some years ago in rural Ireland, where they helped clear rocky fields, moved turf from bogs, worked in the fields and transported people and goods, as well as grinding corn.

And all the while, this will be topped off with a unique display of donkey drawn private and trade vehicles.

And Albert added: “Having relaxed with the charms of yesteryear, a serious adrenaline rush hits the Main Arena as The Scottish Knights of the North headline act begins.  It’s a truly action packed ‘full on’ jousting tournament that echoes with the clash of lance and sword, as the Knights battle for supremacy at breakneck pace. Yet another reason for everyone to join in the fun of the ‘Shanes Stampede”!

Get a flavour of the Irish Game Fair by watching the latest video:

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(The Irish Game Fair is supported by TourismNI and Antrim & Newtownabbey Council.)