Fox Hunting Life with Horse and Hound

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Letting Hounds Run in a New Season

Galway Blazers huntsman Tom Dempsey.mullinsHuntsman Tom Dempsey and the County Galway foxhounds head to the first draw at Riona and John Naughton's farm in Newcastle. / Noel Mullins photo

Everything that happens in the hunt kennels and hound shows during the spring and summer seasons are just activities and events that lead up to the first morning of the autumn hunting season. It can be August for some packs and September for others when hounds are allowed to run for the first time.

The huntsman will have planned and implemented the breeding of his new entry probably two years beforehand by selecting a stallion hound that he thinks would match a bi*ch in his kennels, and indeed raise the profile of the rest of his pack. He may want to breed more drive into his pack by selecting an Old English cross, or more voice by selecting an American cross.

The Dublin Horse Show: Pictures of my Memories

dublin horse show.mullinsNoel Mullins, lifelong foxhunter and sporting photo/journalist in Ireland, and a frequent contributor to Foxhunting Life, launches his new book at the Dublin Horse Show this week.

The Dublin Horse Show: Pictures of My Memories is packed with eight hundred images of the world-famous show, selected from more than ten years-worth of thousands of Mullins' show photographs as well as other historical images. Matthew Dempsey, past-president of the Royal Dublin Society (RDS) has written the Foreword.

First held in 1864, the Dublin Horse Show featured a “Leaping Competition” (as it was then known) in 1868. The first winner was Richard Flynn, a sheep farmer from County Roscommon, on his hunter Shaun Rhue. He shared a prize fund of £55 but sold the horse to Squire Conolly of Castletown House, the founder of the Kildare Foxhounds for £1,000. He jumped six feet one-and-one-half inches over the Stone Wall.

Metamora's Annual Stable Tour Raises Funds, Makes Friends

metamora7People leave with, 'I never knew that!’ or, ‘So, you don’t shoot the fox!’

What a fine way to raise funds for the hunt and at the same time make friends for foxhunting!

“We keep the atmosphere relaxed and pleasant,” said Joe Maday, MFH, “and we try to offer visitors a variety, whether it’s a show stable, a driving stable, or a woman who raises Arabs and has foals and yearlings to show the children. We gain new hunt supporters for sure. People leave with, 'I never knew that!’ or, ‘So, you don’t shoot the fox!’ There’s something for everybody, even if it’s just a pretty drive in the country.”

Badgering: A Fund Raiser for the Hunt

deirdre hanna.cropDeirdre Hanna, our elegant authorMany hunts are continually on the prowl for a new fund raising scheme. Here’s a game from Britain that may raise funds, but if the members get to brawling don’t blame FHL.

The idea of using badges to raise hunt funds was the brain-child of our Hunt Chairman and this is the way he made it work.

Every member of the Sennybridge Farmers' Foxhounds in Powys, Wales, was issued a badge at the start of the season. The badge cost £10.00 and the scheme was to last a year, until the start of the next season. According to the rules, all members had to buy a badge and show the badge at anytime, anywhere, when challenged by another Hunt Member, who also had to show their badge at the same time. Some minor points eased the situation for the ladies. Whereas a man had to produce his badge from a pocket, wallet, or coat, ladies could keep them anywhere on their person, as well as in their handbags or shopping bags.