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The Brogue Trader On The Road: A Year In Review (Part One)

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APRIL: BELTON HORSE TRIALS

This was our first Belton! Trade is quiet and much time is spent on how Charlie’s hibernation has been!  In truth it’s not just Dubarrys’ Charlie that has been hibernating. Even Alistair from Urchin has been known to take a few days off during the winter and emerges once again full of enthusiasm for his very exciting British brand. The whole equestrian set has been waiting for this moment to emerge into the first signs of spring. It was our first but not our last Belton. The Belton Shoe had to be Deal in Mahogany.

APRIL: BASC GAMEKEEPERS FAIR

The BASC used to be our opener before we dabbled with the National Gun Fair at Newark and attended Belton Horse Trials – we love going. It was a fantastic day and wonderful to see Philip Moss of Moss Leathers for the first time since the National Hedge layers association. BASC always goes off at a pedestrian pace much like Belton giving us time to catch up with clients old and new. The fair has splendid representation and once again the spring weather was kind. The Gamekeepers loved the Tweed C.

APRIL: WORLD OF THE HORSE, BADMINTON

With Easter falling as late in the year (the latest it’s been in the last 43 years) were hopeful of at least more clement weather than the year previous which included some delightful cross country day downpours. Successfully set up on Wednesday in the Horse Village, Badminton next to the World of the Horse, we embarked on our fifth trading session.

Highlights included, Ann McGrath trading with a lovely range of Ladies bags by Susanna Stratton Morris and Turf Legends and their range of casual wear with a horse racing theme were also present. Last but by no means least, hidden in the corner of the food and coffee tent was Jean Christophe with an excellent range of wines from Beaune (www.desirsdevins.co.uk); his Gallic charm and samples proving difficult to resist.
Overall it was quiet compared to some years by virtue of so many regulars taking advantage of the Great British getaway  but by no means disastrous. The Badminton Best was Howard R.

MAY: CHATSWORTH HORSE TRIALS, CHATSWORTH HOUSE

For us, Chatsworth remains one of our firm favourites despite a propensity to be somewhat damp over the past few years. Nestled in the grounds of Chatsworth House, the beautiful parklands attracted bumper crowds throughout the two day event. The weather promised to be changeable but aside from one or two short lived showers all was well, though those under canvas and sleeping on the trade stands reported rather chilly conditions at night. For us one of the high points of the weekend was our experience at Grattan Grange farm B&B just outside the village of Elton. Harry and Penny our hosts entertained us wonderfully with superb breakfasts and a wonderful chicken casserole dinner on the Saturday evening. The Chatsworth Champion was without doubt Cavendish.

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