Video: Banbridge to host world’s first ferret ‘Grand National’

This May, hundreds of ferrets will be taking up residence in the historic location of Scarvagh House, Banbridge with the return of the Northern Ireland CountrySports Fair (28th – 29th May).

Ferret trainers, breeders and owners are being encouraged to bring their ‘ferrety’ friends along to the County Down 340-acre estate to compete in the World’s First Ferret Grand National.

Pictured at the launch of the Northern Ireland CountrySports Fair at Scarvagh House are James Farmer (6) and Josh Farmer (4)

Pictured at the launch of the Northern Ireland CountrySports Fair at Scarvagh House are James Farmer (6) and Josh Farmer (4)

Last year’s two-day country sports extravaganza saw 5,600 doggie paws pass through the gates, over 20,000 cartridges released, 6,000 arrows shot, 1,800 jumps cleared, 56 wings fly through the show and a whopping 7,500 burgers sold to hungry visitors.

Remaining true to its traditional roots, the Fair will continue to showcase the very best in country sports whilst incorporating new events to ensure it stays ‘ahead of the pack.’ In another first for the event, the Fair will extend into the evening on the Saturday (28th) with a Country and Western concert and a charity Donkey Derby.

Event Director, Derek Lutton explains: “Rural life and country sports are at the very heart of our history and heritage in Northern Ireland. Our event has gone from strength to strength over the years – annually attracting 18,000 visitors. Following our move to Scarvagh House in 2015, this year we are keen to cater to our ever expanding audience base. We will continue to demonstrate the very best of traditional country sports – which are the cornerstone of our event, from gun dog tests to archery, clay pigeon shooting to angling - whilst ensuring we give our guests something new to enjoy.”

Derek concludes: “The combination of the very best of country sports with the new, innovative attractions means there truly is something for everyone. We look forward to welcoming our visitors – both old and new.”

Pictured preparing for the Ferret Grand National at the launch of the Northern Ireland CountrySports Fair are two ferrety friends

Pictured preparing for the Ferret Grand National at the launch of the Northern Ireland CountrySports Fair are two ferrety friends

For further information on the event please visit www.countrysportsfairs.com. Find us on Facebook at facebook.com/countrysportsfairs or on Twitter at @CSFairs.