For the first time in The Game Fair’s 59-year history, the turn-out of gamekeepers was celebrated in its Best Dressed Keeper competition at Hatfield House in Hertfordshire, last weekend.
Sponsored by leading country lifestyle brand Le Chameau, the inaugural competition celebrated the hard work and immaculate presentation of gamekeepers throughout Britain. The daily competition was open to part or full-time, male or female, amateur or professional gamekeepers. With no entry fee, roaming judges included writer Claire Zambuni, Countryside Alliance’s Jill Grieve and Shotgun & Chelsea Bun Club’s Victoria Knowles-Lacks, who approached keepers in tweeds over the course of each morning and invited them to take part in the competition held in the Brewin Dolphin Main Arena.
David Penn, a part-time keeper on Holcot estate in Northamptonshire was the first to win the prestigious title on day one of The Game Fair. Wearing Grampian tweed from Nomad UK teamed with a pheasant print silk tie and finished with a pair of Le Chameau boots, David was picked by judges and awarded the prize of a pair of Le Chameau Condor Zip Boots worth £290 by Le Chameau’s new ambassador and former England rugby player Phil Vickery MBE.
John Cavana from Northamptonshire, a former keeper on Thimbly, Spauton and Levisham estates, won Saturday’s competition; followed by Shane Wood, from Hertfordshire, the headkeeper on CherryValley estate in County Antrim on Sunday. Both also received the prize of a pair of Le Chameau Condor Zip Boots.
Friday’s winner David Penn commented: “I am very pleased to be the first winner of the competition. I always run on three pairs of boots throughout the shooting season, as it’s nice to start the day with a fresh pair of boots. I really needed a new pair, as one is currently at the stage where they need to retire. I’ve been using Le Chameau for years and will wear them with pride. By winning the competition, I might even treat my wife to something special at The Game Fair.”