On Saturday, May 12th 2018, the sun shone brightly down over the beautiful Belle Isle Estate in Co Fermanagh.
Kindly hosted by His Grace the Duke of Abercorn, a charity simulated game shoot in aid of The Countryside Alliance Foundation and The Irish Guards Benevolent Fund, was held.
The day started promptly when after registering and receiving their rotation plans, the participants were given a safety briefing and then sent off to their various stands to commence the event at 10.00am.
Twenty two teams of four guns took part in the competition which took the form of a simulated 100 bird game shoot comprising 10 stands and a 50 bird flush.
Lower Erne Shooting Club were recruited to run the shoot and the stands were a mix of challenge and fun.
The ten stands tested the guns with a variety of scenarios such as Fur and Feather, Driven Partridge and a Looping Pheasant On Report and Crossing Pheasant Right and Crossing Pheasant Left.
A break for lunch at 1.00pm, provided much needed refreshments, which set the teams up for the afternoon’s sport.
Friendly banter and rivalry was the order throughout the day and there were a variety of attractions for the non shooting guests including Sky’s Portrait Artist of the Year, Gareth Reid, who gave a masterclass, archery lessons, Muff Gin cruises on Trasna (very popular!) and a cookery demonstration by Danni Barry (Clenaghans, Aghalee).
One of the main attractions at the event was Domhnall, the Irish Wolfhound Mascot of the Irish Guards, who happily mingled with the guests throughout the day.
The guests hailed from all over Ireland, USA, Monaco, Belgium, India, Sri Lanka, Africa and GB.
Following the prize giving there was a short break before a gala dinner was served in a marquee situated on the lawn overlooking the lake.
After dinner which was devised by Michelin starred chef Danni Barry and executed by Posh Nosh, silent and live auctions were held, with some amazing lots on offer.
The pipes and drums of the Irish Guards provided a very fitting finale to the evening’s festivities.
It really was a truly unique event, in the most magnificent of surroundings and all in aid of two very deserving charities.
The organising committee cannot thank everyone enough for their support; the main sponsors, Cunningham Coates Stockbrokers and Bentley Belfast, the participants and guests, the donors and to the many wonderful, generous and talented people who helped make the event such a marvellous success.