Dunster Country Fair prides itself on appealing to everyone and being a fun-filled family day out. The children can find plenty of things to keep them entertained.
There is entertainment in the main ring all day plus Ferret Racing, Hound Shows to Craft exhibits. Falconry events, Punch and Judy Show and much, much more!
The Main Ring is the focal point at the Dunster Country Fair. Many visitors enjoy sitting on the grass slopes overlooking the ring, and enjoying views over the Fair with the majestic Dunster Castle in the background.
2022 Main Ring Attractions include:
Shetland Pony Grand National
British Scurry & Trials Driving
Display by Portuguese Lusitano Horses
Pony Club Games
Plus Other Equestrian Events
The Village Green is where you will find local craft demonstrations, rural skill presentations and of course, the Ferret Racing! Ron Kings Hot Six Band will perform throughout the day, near the public bar and luncheon marquee. There is also a selection of catering outlets around the Village Green.
Country Crafts and demonstrations including:
Thatching demonstration by West Country Thatchers
Allerford Forge (West Country Blacksmiths)
Wool Spinning demonstration by Handmade Exmoor (Annabelle Gregory)
Mr Martin Symes - Wheelwright
Pole-lathe, Woodturning Demonstration
Exmouth miniature railway
Entertainment and displays from:
Terry Moles Racing Ferrets
Mr Punch (Punch and Judy)
Ron Kings Hot Six
The Exmouth Miniature Railway
There will also be activities taking place, come and try archery on the hill!
The Dunster Country Fair Hound Show gives Hunts the opportunity to compete against each other in the ring and show off their hounds to the general public. The Hound Show starts at 10am when Staghounds, Foxhounds, Harriers, Beagles and Minkhounds will be showing in their respective rings. Around 30 Hunts compete in the morning, culminating in the Supreme Championship held between 1.pm and 2 pm.
These packs of hounds have been carefully bred over hundreds of years to hunt their specific quarry, whether it was Fox, Deer, Hare or Mink. Their breeding can be traced through the hunt record books back over generations.
There are only three packs of Staghounds in the country all based here in the South West which are responsible for managing the Red Deer herds. It is the presence of these hunts which has ensured the survival of the only significant and truly wild Red Deer herds left in England. The old English thoroughbred Staghound is now extinct so the Staghound hunts use hounds of Foxhound blood. The modern day Staghound tends to be a large strong hound built for stamina.
Foxhound packs are the most common hunts in this country and they help to keep the Foxes at acceptable levels for the farmers by culling foxes using exemptions in the Hunting Act. Some hunts also undertake trail hunting. The Foxhound is another large hound built for speed and stamina.
The West Country Harrier is as its name implies mainly confined to the South West of England. It is taller, heavier and often a lighter colour than the studbook Harrier. It is smaller and lighter in weight than the Foxhound with a finer build. Originally they were bred to hunt Hares but most packs changed over to hunt foxes as well or exclusively within the last eighty years prior to the hunting ban. The Harrier packs now also use exemptions under the hunting act or trail hunt. Due to their smaller size, agility and speed compared to the Foxhound they are particularly good at hunting in thick cover and over the difficult terrain found here in the south west.
The Beagle is the smallest hound on show. They stand between 14 and 16 inches. They were originally bred to hunt hares. Since the hunting ban most packs now hunt rabbits (which are exempt) or trail hunt. Hunt Staff and followers are on foot. Beagles are very enthusiastic and active hounds.
Minkhounds or Otterhounds
The Minkhounds or Otterhounds, hunted mink up until the Hunting Act became law. Otter hunting stopped voluntarily many years ago when there fall in otter numbers due to loss of habitat and water pollution. Mink were introduced into this country when they were released from Mink farms by animal rights extremists. They are a vicious predator often devastating local populations of native species such as the Water Vole and ground nesting Birds. The Minkhounds hunted on foot along the river banks during the summer months and helped to keep the Mink population in check. Since the ban they now hunt either Rats or Rabbits (both are exempt).The Minkhound is a friendly, tough, sturdy hound with a thick coat and is a good swimmer. It is ideally suited to hunting in difficult conditions.
There are equestrian activities and competitions through the day, including:
Pony Club Mounted Games
Mounted Games is a team sport, four or five riders and ponies per team take part in a series of exciting and exhilarating races that involve a mix of turns, handovers, vaulting and galloping against other teams.
Skills required include accuracy, agility, concentration, speed, hand to eye coordination, team work and sportsmanship, plus it's lots of fun to watch and there are some imaginative games!
Further details: 01984 640253
Exmoor Pony Show
The Exmoor Pony Society holds a wide range of pony classes at the Dunster Country Fair ranging from Stallion or Gelding 4 years & over, working hunter pony, owner/breeders pair, junior ridden and much more.
The Exmoor Pony is the oldest of our purebred native breeds, having populated the moorland of Somerset and North Devon since before man.
Exmoor Pony Show enquiries to: Abbie Westcott (Hon Secretary) Tel 07542 942232 or email abbie.I.email@example.com
British Scurry & Trials Driving
An exciting and family fun entertainment and sport where ponies of all sizes and shapes gallop around an obstacle course as fast as they possibly can!
The BSTD was formed in 2012 to encourage drivers and ponies of all abilities to get started in the sport of carriage driving at many types of events nationwide.
From Game Fairs to County Shows and at many Horse Trial Events the BSTD manage to bring some exciting
sport and to entertain the audiences to get involved by shouting encouragement to all the competitors even
while they drive the tricky courses.
Watch miniature ponies compete against all other sizes of ponies whether they be single, pairs or multiples. They all dash around an obstacle course which is built to bring equality to all the different sizes and experience of pony turnouts entered at each event plus they all have their own classes to do well in too.
Formed by Ivor Williams who is the course designer and builder and Carole Davenport who scores and commentates, you'll love watching these agile ponies vie to be the fastest turnout around the twisty course.
For more information and to keep track of all the competitors you can go to their website or find them on Facebook.
This event is a qualifier for the prestigious BSTD Champion of the Year.
South West Group Shetland Pony Show
Further details to follow!
The Wessex K9 Dancers Display Team members are based all across the West Country from Gloucestershire to Devon. They meet regularly near Burnham on Sea and near Cullumpton to practice doggy-dancing. Two team members are finalists this year at Crufts Freestyle Heelwork to Music competition. They also compete regularly in Heelwork to Music, Rally and Obedience. There's a mixture of breeds in the team and they all love to dance! First and foremost of course they are all much loved pets. We look forward to meeting the Wessex K9 Dancers Display Team at this year's Dunster Country Fair!
Dunster Country Fair Dog Shows
Dunster Country Fair boasts a wide range of canine events for both the avid competitor and for children and the whole family to enjoy, including Minehead and District Canine Society Show, Family Dog Show and Dog Agility!
Family Dog Show classes:
Family Dog Show will commence at 2.00 pm. Judging begins at 2.15 pm.
Family Dog Show Classes:
1. Any variety puppy 6 - 12 months
2. Sporting dog or bitch
3. Non-sporting dog or bitch
CHAMPION AND RESERVE OF 1st PRIZEWINNERS FROM CLASSES 1 - 4
5. Countryman’s companion
7. Best lurcher
8. Best conditioned
9. Best hairy dog or bitch
10. Best smooth dog or bitch
11. Pair or family group
12. Pair least alike
13. Child handler
14. Verteran over 7 years
15. Prettiest bitch
16. Handsomest dog
16. Waggiest tail
18. Best trick
BEST IN SHOW FOR 1st PRIZEWINNERS FROM CLASSES 1 - 10
There will also be Dog Agility - more details to follow!