Barbet News (page 31)
The International Falconry Festival 2009
(l to r) Wendy, Piotr, Annette, Polish Falconer and
Melanie with Bepop, Betsy, Ooli and Remy.
For our first visit to `The International Festival of Falconry` in July `09 we had little idea of what to expect. How would the dogs react to being in close proximity to birds of prey? Once on site we quickly set up our pen in the `Sporting Dogs` area and took the opportunity to have a look around the festival site. With over 50 countries represented there were falconers from Kazakhstan emerging from their traditional Yurts to a desert scene, complete with sand and camels provided by the events main sponsors the United Arab Emirates. Everyone seemed to be carrying a bird of prey of some description, from the hawks, falcons and kestrels with which we are more familiar up to golden eagles and the larger varieties of raptor. While we were very aware of the size and power of some of the birds present the dogs took it all in their stride and were neither fearful nor over interested in them and behaved impeccably. As the site filled with members of the public we were kept busy chatting to interested dog owners about the barbet and its working attributes. The day was capped by the attendance of Piotr Piotrowski as part of the Polish camp. Piotr who works his barbets with birds of prey at home in Poland was unable to fly-in his own dogs and so was particularly pleased to see barbets at the event. Despite the language barrier it was a friendly encounter and we were all pleased to learn at first hand how the barbet is used in falconry. We were very kindly invited to join the Polish team for the `Parade of Nations` in the main arena as the finale to the day, with Piotr and his colleauges in traditional Polish falconing dress, it was a wonderful spectacle. It was a very worthwhile day and our thanks to Melanie, Graham and Annette for joining us to help promote the barbet.
We look forward to being able to attend the next festival in two years time, for details see www.falconryfestival.com
Piotr`s barbet website can be found at www.barbet.vip.interia.pl
Watch the birdie !!.