STUNT-RIDING, fly-fishing and a spot of axe-throwing were the star attractions at the Thame Country Fair yesterday.

Thousands of visitors braved the looming black clouds for the 14th annual event, which continues at the Showground today.

The fair aims to celebrate all things rural, with air rifle and pistol ranges, dog shows, horse racing and falconry displays.

Jane Atkins, 40, from Chinnor, was enjoying the show with her husband Andy Gaunt, 43, their two-year son Edward and dogs Byron and Darcy, pictured right.

She said: “It’s been great. We come every year. Edward came along last year and I was nine months’ pregnant the year before, but this is the first time he’s been properly old enough to enjoy it. He’s having a whale of a time.

“It’s usually a hot weekend, but even with the weather, it’s a nice day out for all of us. We love it.”

The fair is separate from the Oxfordshire and Thame Show, which is taking a break in 2012. Organisers cancelled the 124-year-old event last year, blaming a lack of young volunteers. It had lost about £116,000 over the past four years.

Rebecca and Simon McCartney, with their daughter Lucy and dogs Archie and Charlie, said country fairs were still important.

Mr McCartney, from Surrey, said: “We try to make it to about four or five shows a year. This is our first time to Thame, we came especially for the day. It is not as big as some of the other shows, but Lucy is really enjoying herself.”

Matthew Kelly, from Aylesbury, was learning some top fishing tips from Andy Grey, of the Game Angling Instructors’ Association.

He said: “I’m here having a day out with my five-year-old son Sarani. I love fishing but want to get into fly-fishing.”

Others lined up to take part in the slightly less serene activity of axe-throwing.

Sammy Lee, who runs Axe-Throwing UK and is the current British champion, said: “We’ve more people than we expected. Some people are too scared to have a go, or they don’t want to make fools of themselves. But most people are raring to give it a go. Nowhere else offers you the chance to do this. Shows like this one in Thame are very important.” l The fair, organised by Living Heritage, runs again today from 10am to 6pm at the Thame Showground in Kingsey Road. Admission is £11 for adults and £4 for children.