Bumper sales, soaring temperatures, massive attendance and a new champion of champions were just some of the highlights of the 53rd CLA Game Fair at Blenheim
Some 148,500 people flocked to rural Oxfordshire for the sun-drenched Game Fair on 22-24 July. Blenheim Palace, the birth place of Winston Churchill, offered over 2,000 acres packed with stalls, food, activities and attractions for visitors to enjoy over the weekend.
Vendors recorded record sales over the weekend and Game Fair local committee chairman, Julian Sayers, said: “Visitors have had a fantastic experience, exhibitors are delighted – quite simply, the event has been great news for everybody involved”.
Clay shooters had the added treat of a 40-bird shoot, Pro Gun Challenge, Champion of Champions shoot, Browning’s Rabbit Mania and a range of flush and have-a-go stands, so there was something for all levels of clay shooters to enjoy.
The eight-stand 40-bird competition saw some familiar names across the layout including Amber Hill who took the Ladies win on the Friday and the Sunday, Graham Stirzaker, Chris Childerhouse, Nathan Skinner and Henry Arnold. Overall High Gun for the competition went to none other than multi-world champion George Digweed who shot 40.
The Pro Gun Professional shoot on the Sunday saw Chris Childerhouse take home the £1,000 cash prize after holding off sizeable threats from Andy Bennett and George Digweed. Chris took top spot with 36 followed by Andy in second on 34 and George took third place on 33.
The Champion of Champions event always attracts a large crowd and this year was no different as a closely matched shoot saw Clay Shooting’s own Sporting coach Philip Thorrold take the top prize, followed by Phil Smith in second and Richard Bunning in third.
Another highlight of the fun-packed weekend was John Bidwell and his exciting display of shooting marksmanship. The six-times world champion thrilled the crowds as he showed off his skills smashing clays from the hip and splattering the delighted crowds with the contents of his fruit bowl.
Gunmakers row was packed full of household names and saw the launch of the new Beretta Xcel A400 by GMK, which has been but to the test by Richard Atkins, see page 17 for the full report.
Denzil Lee from Sunglasses For Sport said: “This has to be the best single consumer show we’ve ever done, we were about 20% up on last year and we thought that was a good year.”
Simon Barbour, commercial manager of the CPSA said: “It’s been a great show. We’ve had loads of new members signing up, particularly from the younger generation which is great news for the future of our sport.”
All in all it was a fantastic show and it was great to meet those of you who popped along to our stand to say hello – see you all again next year at Belvoir, Leicestershire.