I have been a member of a shooting syndicate at East Dean on the northern edge of the Goodwood Estate for twelve years, and love the landscape in this corner of Sussex, composed of large beech woods with some quite steep valleys, interspersed with rolling downland.

Every time I have driven to a shoot on my syndicate at East Dean for the past 12 years, I have admired the adjoining areas of the Goodwood Estate, especially the valleys on either side of the road from Singleton to East Dean, via Charlton, and beneath the racecourse on the road from Charlton to the top of the Trundle by the racecourse.

I have frequently wondered what it would be like to shoot in one of those lovely valleys, and finally I found out because on Monday 29th October this year my wish came true, and my curiosity was sated!  It all began in June this year when I had an email from the Agent at Goodwood, Alun Rees, saying that one of their regular teams had cancelled a Partridge day on 29th October and would I like to find a team to take their place?

I had mentioned to Alun that I knew of a travelling syndicate whom I approached with this opportunity.  Unfortunately it quickly became evident that the syndicate I was thinking of could not take this day because various members were shooting at different places on this date, and so I asked Alun for a little more time to try and put my own team together.

I started this process in July and finally put a team together which consisted of five old friends, and three people whom I had never met before, but were suggested by various friends and contacts, and I am always pleased to meet new shooting enthusiasts, so happily welcomed them to the ‘team’

Anyway, after all the emails discussing guns, loaders, guests, transport, tips, menus and accommodation, I finally got to meet everyone on the Sunday evening for a pre-shoot dinner in the Duke of Richmond restaurant in the Goodwood Hotel and we all gathered in the bar where the noise level rose noticeably as each member of the party arrived.  After a splendid dinner and more drinks in the bar, everyone drifted off to their rooms in anticipation of a great day to come.

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Friday, November 30th, 2012