Beaufort & Blake: 5 Characters You’re Likely to Meet at a Shoot
We throw some light on the more colourful individuals you’re most likely to come across at a shoot. We defy you to tell us that you haven’t met at least one.
1. The Lady
She brings elegance and style to her peg with immaculate tweeds and a dog that puts a commissioned painting to shame. Men watch her in sheer envy (and lust) as she single-handedly doubles the day’s bag, in between charming prospective clients of her new luxury bag company. Araminta maintains the upmost modesty throughout the day and puts other guns’ wives to shame, who can be found sulking in their new Range Rovers with the heating on full blast. Let’s just say pheasant isn’t the only bird the male guns have their eye on…
2. The City Broker
With a chequebook to match the size of his rather large ego, the City Broker is a hard one to miss. He spends the whole day blaming his poor aim on a brand new pair of Purdeys he drunkenly purchased at a charity auction a few weeks earlier. Having persuaded his wife (number three) to tear herself away from Knightsbridge, he spends the day overwhelming her with a cocktail of sloe gin, cigars and endless politically incorrect jokes. Most likely to be dropped at the nearest train station by the youngest member of the beating team, having crashed his Evoque into a ditch after a few too many at lunch.
3. The Newbie
After carefully studying old copies of The Field, passed on by an amused friend, Jonny Nota-Clue dons his box-fresh pair of boots and straps on a brave face for the day ahead. Having missed at least five birds on the first drive, mainly due to an inability to remove the safety catch, he spends the rest of the day panicking as to which trigger should be pulled first. His dog (well, his fiancée’s), a city-bred variant of a Bulldog, fails to make an appearance and so, coupled with his abhorrently awful aim, he fails to bag a single bird. Nonetheless, the newbie enjoys his foray into field sports and spends his drive home to Battersea contemplating what caption to put on his Instagrammable-photo from the day.
4. The Colonel
Likely to have lived and breathed officer training corps at university, Hugo Smug-Bossey has no hesitation in assuming lead of what is an already immaculately run shoot. None of the other guns question his Sandhurst trained leadership abilities but begin to tire after a telling off, point by point, at each drive. Hugo is a consistent shot and highly reliable at the end of the line – where he is strategically placed by the host. Let’s just say Colonel Smug-Bossey puts the bore in bore-ing.
5. The Spaniel
With a mildly ironic name like ‘Taxi’, The Spaniel is the most charismatic of the bunch. A master of self-control, she dreams day and night of getting out into the field and relishes the opportunity to get incomprehensibly dirty. Once the day is over, and her work is done, she begins her night shift as the custodian of the drawing-room fire.