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.
2020 Main Ring Attractions include:
Stunt Mania Motorcycle Stunt Team
3 Sixty Mountain Bike Display Team
Shetland Pony Grand National
Hawkeye Falconry UK
British Scurry and Trials Driving Arena Challenge
Plus 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
Stickmaking by Mr Veale
Pole-lathe, Woodturning Demonstration
“West Country Milk Bottles Past”
Entertainment and displays from:
Terry Moles Racing Ferrets
Mr Punch (Punch and Judy)
Ron Kings Hot Six
There will also be activities taking place on the hill, come and try archery and clay pigeon shooting!
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.
Dunster Country Fair boasts a wide range of canine events for both the avid competitor and for children and the whole family to enjoy. We are proud to host the Minehead and District Canine Society Dog Show, Family Dog Show, Terrier Show, Dog Scurry and a Dog Agility!
Minehead & District Canine Society Show
The Minehead & District Canine Society hold their Dog Show annually at the Dunster Country Fair, with over 800 dogs expected to attend from far and wide! More information about the Minehead & District Cannine Society Show is available from: Mrs J. Porter (Hon. Secretary) Tel. 01984 631726
Family Dog Show
Family Dog Show will commence at 2.00 pm.
Judging begins at 2.15 pm.
Enquiries Mrs J. Burge
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
6. Best lurcher
7. Best conditioned
8. Best hairy dog or bitch
9. Best smooth dog or bitch
10. Pair or family group
11. Pair least alike
12. Child handler
13. Verteran over 7 years
14. Prettiest bitch
15. Handsomest dog
16. Waggiest tail
17. Best trick
18. Best local dog or bitch
(Minehead, Porlock, Williton, etc)
BEST IN SHOW FOR 1st PRIZEWINNERS
FROM CLASSES 1 - 9
There will also be a
Fun Dog Scurry
and Dog Agility
More details to follow!
The Dunster Country Fair were pleased to be given a qualifier status in 2019 for the Countryman’s Weekly Champion of Champions Final, held at The Midland Game Fair, Weston Park, Shropshire in September 2019.
Terrier Show Classes:
1. Puppies – any variety 6 – 12 months
(All terriers in other Classes to be over 1 year old)
2. Russell type dog
3. Border dog
4. Lakeland / Fell dog
5. Progeny Sire or Dam with offspring
6. Any terrier under 12”
7. Russell type bitch
8. Border bitch
9. Lakeland / Fell bitch
10. Any working terrier
12. Veteran over 7 years
13. CHAMPION DOG for 1st prizewinners
of classes 2, 3, 4
14. CHAMPION BITCH for 1st prizewinners
of classes 7, 8, 9
1st prizewinners of classes 5, 6, 10, 12 can enter class 13 OR 14
15. CHAMPION & RESERVE CHAMPION of SHOW
for 1st and 2nd prizewinners of classes 13 and 14
£35 cash prize to CHAMPION OF SHOW
£15 cash prize to RESERVE CHAMPION
Perpetual Challenge Cup Kindly Donated by
Mr Len Jackson
Terrier Show Enquiries: Mrs J Thomas,
Tel. 01984 640253
There are equestrian activities and competitions through the day, including a fun Handy Hunter Competition!
Handy Hunter Competition
All entries in the Handy Hunter competitions are representing either their Pony Club or Hunt.
All Enquiries for the Handy Hunter to:
Mrs Judeth Chamberlin
Tel. 01984 629363 or email.
Pony Club Games and Musical Ride
There’s also Pony Club Games and Pony Club Musical Ride taking place in the afternoon
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