Horses & Hounds
The Horses & Hounds Area and the dedicated ring are the perfect places to stop and discover everything about horses, from how to get started to chatting with fellow riders and picking up tips, while browsing stands specialising in everything you could need for your horse.
From pony clubs to Riding for the Disabled, there’s plenty to of interest throughout the weekend.
The Hound Exhibition within the area offers an unrivalled opportunity to meet some of the key breeds prevalent in today’s countryside. Come and see some of the packs from across the UK, including foxhounds, beagles, basset hounds and bloodhounds.
Head over to the Mini Ring for some amazing demonstrations of equine skill that will keep you entertained all day long or visit the farrier tent to see some of the oldest field sport skills in history being kept alive and, indeed, refined for the modern age.
Want to witness what these fun and feisty breeds are all about? Then keep your eyes peeled for the Terriers Parade every afternoon in the Mini Ring. This feature is new for 2019 and is a chance to get to know some of the different breeds and how and why some of them were bred for specific tasks.
MHF Polo School
Also new for this year, MHF Polo School will introduce visitors to this exciting sport. The school runs lessons and events at three locations in Hertfordshire, Essex and London. Learn to play polo – no riding experience required – or join them at Silver Leys (Bishop’s Stortford) for family days out all summer; there’s free spectator entry! Lesson prices start at £35 pp (for students). For more information, please visit mhfpolo.com
Surrey Hills Horseman
Daniel Brown and his timber horses make a welcome return to the Mini Ring for 2019. A member of the British Heavy Horse team for two decades, Dan is passionate about introducing more people to these amazing horses and the work they are capable of. These demonstrations are not to be missed. For more information, please visit www.danielbrownhorseman.com
Bit On The Side (Side Saddle Display Team)
After the success of their first visit in 2018, the ladies of this popular display team are very honoured to be returning to The Game Fair® once more to guide you through the art of side saddle riding, detailing the elegance, the mystery and the history.
Marvel at the jumping will be shown, something seldom seen off the hunting field, as top riders demonstrate this ancient skill, showcasing their amazing ability and courage.
Commentator and team manager Ginny Oakley Pope will have all the information and hopefully put a smile on your face as you watch.
The riders are:
Lauren Allin was the National Side Saddle Rider of the Year 2017 as well as being an up and coming top event rider. This year she will be riding Pogo.
Emma Brown, the Side Saddle hunting queen of the Quorn and one of the most photographed Side Saddle riders in the world. Emma rides her own Flying Chicken, who was new to the team in 2017 and is her current Side Saddle hunter.
Chloe Gunn was the National Side Saddle Rider of the Year 2018 and has excelled in many equestrianism disciplines, including Side Saddle. This year Chloe will be riding The Cow Pony.
Sarah Edmunds joins the team at The Game Fair® for 2019 and will be riding Harry.
Roger Edmunds, another addition to the Side Saddle team at Hatfield House will be on IO.
For more information, please visit www.sidesaddleassociation.co.uk
Riding for the Disabled Association (RDA)
RDA’s horses benefit the lives of over 25,000 disabled children and adults. With fun activities like riding and carriage driving, RDA provides therapy, fitness, skills development and opportunities for achievement – all supported by 18,000 amazing volunteers and qualified coaches at nearly 500 RDA centres all over the UK.
RDA is an inclusive and diverse organisation, welcoming clients with physical and learning disabilities and autism and there are no age restrictions. Through its network of member groups, RDA is at work in every corner of the UK, in cities and remote rural areas, bringing the therapy, achievement and fun of horses to as many people as possible.
This year RDA is celebrating 50 years of carrying out these life-changing activities, all of which is made possible thanks to the generosity of its donors, the dedication of its volunteers and the good nature of its fantastic horses. For more information, please visit www.rda.org.uk.
Hook Norton Shire Horses
Always a popular feature, watching these gentle giants work is a wonderful spectacle. The Hook Norton Shires are once again demonstrating their working prowess in the Mini Ring, where you can see how these amazing horses are groomed, plaited and harnessed in the traditional manner.
Working Sealyham Terriers
One of our muost vulnerable native breed – only 167 pups were registered in the UK in 2017 – Sealyhams are the most wonderful, loyal sporting companions, tremendous ratters who love nothing more than a day on a chicken farm or checking the river bank for vermin.
The Working Sealyham Terrier Club was formed in 2008 when it attended the 50th Anniversary of The Game Fair® at Blenheim Palace.
At that time there were only 48 pups in the UK. Since then the club has displayed the pack at various game and country fairs, promoting the breed whenever and wherever possible.
Now, 11 years on, it is proud and delighted to be bringing them to Hatfield House. For more information, please visit www.mysealyhams.com
Pony Club Demonstrations
The Pony Club is designed to encourage horsemanship and sportsmanship among children, teenagers and young adults up to the age of 25.
Membership is available through branches and centres up and down the country, irrespective of if you own a horse or pony or not. Members of various clubs in the region will be on hand showcasing some of their activities and demonstrating how learning takes place in a safe, informative and fun environment.
For more information, please visit www.pcuk.org
Friday: Runningwell Equestrian Centre
This centre has been a busy Pony Club centre for nearly 20 years. It has approximately 80 members who enjoy rallies, competition days and stable management sessions. They also have the chance to take their badges and achievement awards. For more information, please visit www.runningwell.co.uk
Saturday: Enfield Chace Pony Club
The Enfield Chace Hunt Pony Club is an ‘Area Eight’ club, Members come from Enfield, Hertford and the surrounding area. It has a long history going back to 1933 when Major G Smith-Bosanquet called the first committee meeting of the Pony Club. Its aims at that very first meeting were the same then as they are today: to teach children how to care for their ponies, how to ride, to teach them good manners on and off the hunting field and how to care for the countryside they ride in. Rallies have always been about having fun whilst being safe and learning.
Enfield Chace has recently built a new cross-country course at Northaw for members to use when they hold rallies and competitions.
Sunday: East Hertfordshire Hunt Pony Club
East Hertfordshire Hunt is a medium-sized branch of the Pony Club, based in Old Knebworth and the surrounding area. It offers training and opportunities to compete, always with the emphasis on having fun. For more information please contact Trish Griffiths at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Meet the Hounds
Three times each day the hounds from the Hound Exhibition will be in the Mini Ring, introduced by Matthew Higgs, an expert who will share his knowledge and explain the characteristics of the different hounds.
The Hounds Exhibition
There are several distinct types of foxhound and it takes many out-crosses from these to produce a hound best suited to the country in which they hunt: The Old English, the Modern English, the Welsh, the Dumfries and the Fell Hounds. The largest of the scenting hounds is the staghound but, with the only remaining packs being in the far southwest, none are present here at Hatfield.
Breeds that are represented here include beagles, bassets and bloodhounds. Each day there are three different types of hounds in the exhibition pens. This Hound Exhibition gives you a chance to see a number of these types and breeds at the same time and to talk to the hunt staff about their chargss. In total there are 18 packs represented here, with close on 350 hounds.
Packs taking part in the Hound Exhibition include:
Foxhounds: Pytchley, East Essex
Beagles: North Bucks, Pipewell, Trinity Foot and
Bassets: Westerby, De Burgh and North Essex