It is now almost fifteen years since Chris Tuffrey formed The International Falconry Display. In the early years his presentation concentrated on the more traditional aspects of falconry, with a demonstration that featured a variety of hawks, eagles, owls and falcons. He performed at most of the major outdoor events in the United Kingdom, including the Royal Show, The Royal Bath & West Show and the CLA Game Fair, as well as numerous smaller events.
In 1993 he was invited to take his display to "Panorama Park" in Germany, one of the country's leading theme parks, where he became a regular attraction. While he was based there he also travelled widely throughout western Europe to gave additional displays in Austria, Holland and Belgium. The tour was a huge success.
He returned to the UK in 1996 and continued entertaining audiences the length and breadth of the UK. Having established a wider reputation on the Continent he was also able to make many return trips to appear at events in Germany and elsewhere.
As the years went by Chris continually refined and improved The International Falconry Display. However, throughout this period the general approach remained more-or-less conventional, with birds flying to the fist and lure, displaying their skills on the wing. However, in 1998 Chris met Eileen Gilmore, and the display would never be quite the same again.
Eileen originates from County Wicklow in the Republic of Ireland. Before moving to the UK she worked for several years in the Irish film industry, and her experience and imagination brought a new flair to the falconry display. What was more, her main interest before meeting Chris's birds of prey were her horses.
The combination of both interests - falconry and horses - resulted in the creation of 'The HawkMaster', bringing together these two disciplines in a contemporary recreation of the medieval art of falconry from horseback.
The new show is now in its third season and goes from strength to strength. With enhanced presentation, new props, and a greater understanding of the associated age-old skills, Chris and Eileen offer a rare and very authentic insight into a medieval past-time that is both skilful and entertaining.
The HawkMaster performs at major events almost every weekend, with countless weekday presentations arising through individual bookings by groups or corporate clients. The show continues to travel overseas, touring widely throughout Europe.
Details of our schedule for the 2005 season will be posted soon on our diary page. This will include the relocation of our main display centre to a brand new facility - watch here for news!
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