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Equitana 2001

HawkMaster with horses and birds of prey are guests at EQUITANA

Hunting scenes from the not so dark Middle Ages

Hunting with birds of prey was one of the leisure pursuits at medieval courts. Today falconers tend to be rare in European latitudes. The daily programme at EQUITANA 2001 resurrects medieval falconry. Each day, HawkMaster from England shows enormous steeds, hawks, falcons and eagles in a show which has enthused the public, not only in the home countries of the protagonists Eileen Gilmore and Chris Tuffrey.

Almost 15 years ago Chris Tuffrey founded his HawkMaster falconry show. Traditional falconry with hawks, eagles, owls and falcons was the focus of the presentations with which Tuffrey starred at the most important open-air events in England and quickly became very popular.

In 1993 Chris Tuffrey and his birds of prey were invited to Panorama Park, one of the largest leisure parks in Sauerland, where the HawkMaster show was a great hit with the public. Tuffrey made use of his time on the continent and toured with great success through Western Europe.

Over the years Chris Tuffrey refined and improved his show with the birds of prey but by this point in time it was quite conventional and not very spectacular. Shows with birds flying to the fist and lure and displaying their skills on the wing had had their day. Then Chris got to know Eileen Gilmore in 1998 and with her the show was changed utterly.

Eileen Gilmore comes from County Wicklow in Ireland. Before going to England, she worked for some years in the Irish film industry. With the experience gathered there and her own imagination the Irish woman brought fresh air into the show and new elements to enrich it. For Eileen Gilmore’s heart belongs to horses. Both passions - horses and birds – blended together into an incomparable display: the recreation of medieval falconry on horseback.

The stately horses and the majestic flight of the eagles, hawks and falcons come together in an extremely original and spectacular performance. The show is meticulously planned with great love and the result is much more than just a combination of horses, birds and riders but a virtual recreation of a medieval hunting scene. The horses alone are powerful animals, Monty and Newmarket stand at almost 18 hands high while Merengo is an imposing 19 hands. Carefully selected music, Eileen’s spectacularly coloured costumes, Chris and the horses create a unique atmosphere. The pennons fluttering on the brightly-coloured pavilions, the colourful appearance of the horses, the cries of the birds of prey have transported numerous enraptured HawkMaster visitors into a medieval atmosphere. This can be experienced in the large ring (hall 6) at EQUITANA 2001 every day.

Information: Hawks Hill, Hailcombe Barn, South Newington, Banbury, Oxfordshire, OX15 4JP, Great Britain,

Tel./Fax 0044-1869-347 480, Internet

Please click here to visit the Equitana website

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