Game on again at Shanes Castle

The Irish Game Fair & Fine Food Festival will be back at Shanes Castle, Antrim, on June 28 and 29.
The Irish Game Fair & Fine Food Festival will be back at Shanes Castle, Antrim, on June 28 and 29.

The Irish Game Fair and Fine Food Festival will be back at Shanes Castle on June 28 and 29.

The popular annual event, which is supported by TourismNI and Antrim and Newtownabbey Borough Council, famously showcases Northern Ireland’s uniquely precious heritage of country sports, pursuits and past-times, living history and the province’s artisan food and drink sector on a world stage.

Knights of the North jousting at the the Irish Game Fair & Fine Food Festival at Shanes Castle.

Knights of the North jousting at the the Irish Game Fair & Fine Food Festival at Shanes Castle.

This June it will be 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.

Fair Director Albert Titterington says the Irish Game Fair and Fine Food Festival on June 28 and 29 will be offering even more

excitement and thrills for the public this year with a host of new equine acts and displays.

Albert 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.

“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.”

Also brand new, fair-goers can return to an Ireland of the past, when donkeys were king on every working farm across the land.

Those who attend the 2019 event at Shanes Castle will see the amazing Donkey Breed Society displays illustrate the unique role of the humble donkey some yearsago 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.

This will be topped off with a unique display of donkey drawn private and trade vehicles.

Fair Director, Albert said: “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’.”