Fox Hunting Life with Horse and Hound

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FHL wants your hunt reports! Stories and photos. Submit yours here.

The East Galway at McDonagh’s Pub, Tynagh

East Galway Foxhounds huntsman Liam McAlinden moving off at the meet from McDonaghs Pub in TynaghHuntsman Liam McAlinden and foxhounds move off from McDonagh’s Pub in Tynaugh. / Noel Mullins photo

As the end of the season approaches, it has not come soon enough for some East Galway followers. The hunt could open a hospital casualty ward what with old foxhunting injuries resurrecting themselves—niggling joints, dodgy knees, frozen shoulders, and sore hips. Joint-Master Joe Cavanagh has just had knee surgery, and remarkably he was following by car a few days afterwards. One hunt follower I met was walking very bandy, like a jockey, and he admitted that he would definitely not be able to block a terrier in a corridor! But the East Galway followers are made of stern stuff and despite their temporary handicaps they all look fine when mounted on their hunters!

To further compound matters, some of the hunt horses also need rest. But East Galway has a reputation for producing top-class show jumping and eventing horses, and despite their value they are not being kept in cotton wool; they are being called into action to get followers to the end of the season. No doubt a bit of serious hunting will sharpen them up for the competition season.

Camden Hunt Hosts Joint-Meet With Sedgefield

susan provenzano and GulliverAuthor Susan Provenzano provides a hunt report rich with sport at Camden Hunt, South Carolina, recently hosting a joint meet with the Sedgefield Hunt from North Carolina. Susan whips-in on Gulliver, her accomplished Thoroughbred, the pair well able to lead the field as well.  /   Holly Swartz photo

As foxhunters, we all look forward to Hunt Ball Weekend. For many hunts, it’s a time when the season is winding down, and we try to truly savor the invigorating mornings remaining of another season spent with our horses, hounds, and friends.

Hunt Ball Weekend in Camden, South Carolina, is no different. This year, however, we spread the enjoyment more than a little by inviting Fred Berry, MFH and huntsman, Sedgefield Hunt (NC), his hounds, and the Sedgefield members to join us. We spread the fun with three days of things to do and places to go—two hunts, one for each pack, and a hunt ball.

The Scarteen at Lattin and Knockcarron

power.lattin 6John Halligan stretches for a big double at Lattin. / Catherine Power photo

Spoiled for choice with three top-class Scarteen meets back-to-back, it appeared only logical to cover all three. With Christmas comes a choice of great hunting, and with scent (that essential but illusive ingredient) improving daily, the omens were good. And so it proved.

The little village of Lattin is so called because it was a seat of learning in the middle ages. The story goes that a weary traveller asked the way to Emly Cathedral of three roadside workers. The first answered in Gaelic while the second disagreed in Lattin, but the definitive directions were given in Greek. Gone are the classics, and the little village on the Tipperary/Limerick border would hardly warrant a backward glance from motorists today, but on a Scarteen hunting day it becomes a mecca. Keen enthusiasts arrange days off, marriages are postponed, and births delayed so that they might be there because it is a special place. Horses had been rested or galloped with the point-to-pointers in preparation for the day.

The Meath Foxhounds at Scut Fagans Pub

Meath Foxhounds honorary whipper in Johnny Clarke outside Scut Fagans BarMeath Foxhounds honorary whipper-in Johnny Clarke outside Scut Fagans pub  /   Noel Mullins photo

Scut Fagans Pub
Those who missed the Meath Foxhounds’ meet at Scut Fagans pub in Moynalvey missed one of the best hunts of the season. But more of that later.

The pub is a step back in time and so tiny that if you are having a drink and standing against the back wall, you probably could still reach the bar! With its galvanized roof, Scut Fagans has probably been there since pre-history! It has been short-listed as one of the top eighteen Irish pubs one should visit before retiring to that great hunting field in the sky.