Are you looking forward to welcoming clients back into the showroom? How can people get in touch for updates on reopening?

We always love seeing clients in person, and we’re thrilled that we should be able to have people back here in the next few months. Our incoming orders have remained unbelievably strong throughout all this, thanks to selling remotely through messaging, phone and video calls, emails and so on. All these remote channels will remain open as we prepare to welcome normality back. We have such a great following here at Rigby, but there’s nothing like being able to show people around, have them meet the team and see for themselves what we do here. That’s what we can’t wait to get back to. We’ll be letting everyone know when the doors are open again via our mailing list, so do sign up if you haven’t already, and also via social media. In the meantime, we’re here on +44 (0) 207 720 0757 or email rigby@johnrigbyandco.com.

What news is there from the benches?

As usual, there are some exceptionally beautiful guns being worked on. We’ve just photographed some fabulous stuff, which will be going out onto our social media channels soon. We’ve also been ramping Rigby Art up a gear now that we’re preparing for when the show season to open up again and we’re looking forward to being able to showcase that properly once people can see it in person.

It’s five years since your visit to India to celebrate Jim Corbett’s legacy. What are you fondest memories of that trip?

The whole thing was incredible. It was great to be able do something in the name of a great man who really cared about the wildlife and the people of India. I think we really captured his spirit throughout the trip, as well as before and after it with everything we did to promote Corbett’s memory and the people and the wildlife there, plus the donation of the rapid response vehicle to the tiger conservation teams in the Jim Corbett National Park. One of the most striking aspects of the tour was just meeting the local people and seeing first-hand how revered Jim Corbett still is: he’s looked at almost like some sort of god and it’s incredible the following he has even today. Long may that continue.

Are there any other journeys that you’d like to make in the footsteps of a hero?

I’ve been blessed to hunt and visit places all over the world. Many are places I could only have dreamt of as a boy. Rigby has been an amazing journey in its own right, which we’re all on here. It’s also taken us to these momentous locations – the Karamoja in Uganda, places in America, in Europe, in Russia. We’ve been almost everywhere and, you know, each place is different and special in its own way. I don’t think I can pick any one as hands down greater than any other. The important thing for me is to share it with people you care about. If you have that, it’s always going to be a great trip.

Rigby’s new Yeti tumblers are now in the shop and are perfect campfire companions from a breakfast brew to an evening braai. What do you like to start the day with?

I’m an old school black coffee kind of guy – real “cowboy coffee” – it gets my day going. I like to get up with the sun every day whether I’m hunting or not. One of the best things for me about being on safari is how you fall into the rhythm of the sun going up and down pretty quickly. Some of the most amazing mornings were when I was hunting in Namibia a couple of years ago. We were on the edge of this swampy area where the sun would rise every morning. I’d come out from the tent and just feel the cool sand on those really cold African mornings. The guys looking after us were excellent, and would always have built the braai back up in the fire pit. I particularly liked the way that they’d lay the wood to form three points coming together, then put the coffee on the top in the middle. There would always be hot, black coffee first thing in the morning as you’d be sitting there, listening to the hippos in the water, the lions roaring, and all the other animals going on – the perfect soundtrack. There is no greater way of waking up and enjoying that morning drink. In terms of breakfast, I’m a definite big breakfast guy, but not when I first wake up. I need to get going first of all.

 Closer to home, how are the deer looking and have you had any stalking outings? 

I will be out from this weekend (10 April) after the roebucks. Where we live, we’ve got roe deer all around us. Just this morning, I was sitting on our bed with our three-year-old daughter. I opened the curtains and there was a magnificent roebuck ten metres away on the bank outside our house. He couldn’t see us inside so just gently fed along the headland of the bank as the sun was coming up. The only problem with living so close to them is that you start giving them names and don’t really feel like hunting them, but they’re amazing creatures. It’s fascinating seeing them and interacting with them, whether it’s early season when they’re territorial or later in the year in the rut and you can call them. They’re just the king of deer, in my opinion.


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