Hannah Treliving reports on Spain
Partridge shooting in Spain has a long and colourful history so I went to visit the various lodges that we represent in a bid to understand the compelling appeal.
The main shooting region is found a few hours south of Madrid so a two day trip is perfectly feasible. Logistics are simple; guests are met in Madrid by a representative of the estate, assisted with gun clearance and then driven South.
First was a visit to Ventosilla in Toledo, just 94km from Madrid. Steeped in history, the palatial Spanish palace is probably the oldest and most famed shooting lodge in the country. The first driven shoot in Spain took place here in 1880, organised by the Duke of Santoña with HRM King Alfonso XIII. His great grandchildren, the charming Antonio and Carlos, now run the shooting operation which lends the whole experience a familiar, relaxed feel. Clients are very much their houseguests and the dining is a large part of the trip. With ten en suite bedrooms, the house is the perfect venue if you are a group of friends celebrating a sixtieth birthday or other occasion, but it is worth noting that they take individual guns too. The country is rugged and varied, with 50 different drives on offer they can cater for a number of shooting tastes.
La Cuesta in the region of La Mancha is an entirely different story. A modern lodge atop a hill with 14 vast bedrooms, the accommodation is very special. Owned by a perfectionist called Jesus Muela, his passion is his birds and the focus is on their height. The ravenous country of the surrounding estancia provides some breath-taking scenery and makes for some exhilarating high bird shooting. The estate offers days with estimated bags of 600 birds per day.
The season has been recently been extended to 28 February in La Mancha, bringing it more in line with other regions in the country. A third fabulous lodge is found in the nearby La Nava, which has its own runway for private planes, infinity pool and well stocked games room. The vast 25,000 hectare estate offers some incredible shooting and varied drives, where there has been a distinct movement away from the classic, more traditional style of partridge shooting across flat plains.
If you are interested in shooting in Spain and would like more information, please do not hesitate to contact Adam Bromfield or myself. We will organise the necessary permits and can assist with flights and any other travel arrangements or accommodation required.