THOUSANDS of countryside enthusiasts flocked to the Yorkshire Game Fair at Harewood House, near Leeds, yesterday as attendance figures were expected to beat last year's total of 20,000.
This year's event, of which the Yorkshire Post is media partner, has grown to include a wealth of new attractions, including falcon racing, Simon Whitehead's Pakefield Ferret Display, and The Taste of Game with James Burton.
Highlights included the Kate Cropper sheepdog display. Children also showed off their dog-handling skills herding geese.
Harewood House Trust chief executive Richard Mansell said yesterday: "People are still coming in at 3pm and attendance is slightly up – 10 per cent on last year's figure of 20,000 – 10,000 people each day.
"The build-up to the event has been excellent and overall we are very pleased – all the traders are pleased and have been selling out of fresh produce. Now we are already starting to think about next year's event.
"In the past we have had traffic problems but this year we have not had any traffic issues and appear to have ironed out those problems.''
Asked whether the defacing of publicity signs advertising the event by enforcement officers from Leeds Council who put "cancelled"notices over them a few weeks ago, he said: "We are not sure whether this hindered us or not. At first glance it looked like the notices were cancelling the show! But it may have been that the resultant publicity actually helped us.''
The event is making a name for itself as one of the best hunting, shooting and fishing fairs in the country.