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Sean Cully and Rose Tree-Blue Mountain Through Irish Eyes

sean cully.mullins1Sean Cully (center) hunts his hounds at a joint meet in Geneseo, New York, hosted by Marion Thorne, MFH and huntsman of the Genesee Valley Hounds (at left). /   Noel Mullins photo

The first time I met Sean Cully he was Master and huntsman of the Blue Mountain Hounds (PA), and he was hunting an up-to-weight Irish Draught hunter. Blue Mountain, established by Cully in 1999 as a private foot pack, had been recently Registered by the MFHA.

On the occasion of our meeting, Cully was visiting Mr. Stewart’s Cheshire Foxhounds in Pennsylvania, celebrating their centennial year in 2013. Between then and now, this former Master and huntsman of a small foot pack has stabilized the foxhunting countries of two additional hunts in Pennsylvania under his Mastership and added winter fixtures near Aiken, South Carolina.

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Evelyn “Jeep” Cochran, MBH, Retires

jeepJeep Cochran and her Calf Pasture Bassets

As dedicated, passionate—some might even say fanatical—members of the global sporting community of those who hunt with hounds, we all feel the loss of our treasured activities as the COVID pandemic rages across our countries. During this time of suffering it seems insensitive to mourn the departure of a single individual from our sporting scene, but in this case a large group of people has lost the opportunity to celebrate the career, times, and exemplary hunting life of the retiring Master of the Calf Pasture Bassets, Evelyn "Jeep" Cochran.

What? Is she dead? Emphatically not! But the pandemic has robbed all her friends of the chance to celebrate her life, her hounds, her triumphs too numerous to tally...at hound shows, at field trials, and over the course of a sporting life lived over an impressive span of years.

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International Champion Show Jumper, Shane Breen, Loves His Hunting

shane breen wins at the Christmas Masters CSI 5 Star at London International Horse ShowShane Breen wins at the Christmas Masters CSI 5-Star at London International Horse Show.

We hadn’t seen Shane Breen since the end of last hunting season, and what a change since then. There is rejoicing in Scarteen country with the news that Shane has joined the hunt Mastership. During our many chats (mostly on Zoom) leading up this article, I asked him which gave him the most satisfaction, a top class win in showjumping or a really cracking day’s hunting. Without hesitation the answer came in favour of the latter. However, with a little prompting from wife Chloe he agreed that perhaps winning the Grand Prix in Dublin (with a purse of €330,000) might just shade it.

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Happy 95th, Michael Dempsey!

Michael Dempsey master and huntsman of the Galway Blazers Hounds parading twenty two and a half couple of hounds at the Dublin Horse Show in 1983.mullinsMichael Dempsey, Master and huntsman of the Galway Blazers parading 22-1/2 couple of hounds at the Dublin Horse Show, 1983 / Noel Mullins photo

Former Master and huntsman of the Galway Blazers for forty seasons, Michael Dempsey celebrated his ninety-fifth birthday last week. And there are still some who remember him hunting Lady Molly Cusack-Smith’s Bermingham and North Galway Hounds even before that!

In fact, your FHL editor was in the field near Bermingham House one hunting day that would have cancelled any prognostication of this man ever achieving ninety-five years topside.

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