THE 18th Evening Echo Donal O’Mahony memorial meeting at Blarney on Sunday meeting proved to be a huge success with three top-class draghunts.
No doubt the bumper crowd would have been larger if the weather had been kinder but thankfully the rain stayed away until shortly after the conclusion of the meeting.
Many talking points but for one city trainer Liz Kenny of the Northern Hunt club it was a day to remember.
Daughter of the late John who himself was an avid member of Northern Hunt for many years Liz has kept the family name going in the sport along with brother Gary.
On the build-up to the race, the Knocknaheeney based trainer felt she had a good chance if her charge Jessie J could be among the leading hounds on the finish.
When the hounds showed on the finish Jessie J had a decent lead and when the call went up there was only going to be one winner.
Naturally the Northern Hunt lady was rather emotional after winning the biggest draghunt of her career.
“My father and Donal O’Mahony were great friends and I am delighted that at last I have managed to win this draghunt for my family and club,” said Liz Kenny.
Indeed as Jessie J crossed the tape Liz had a look of disbelief as she reflected on the magical moment.
“When the hounds showed I picked her out and I knew barring a complete meltdown she would finish well as that’s her greatest asset,” added Liz.
The second success for the Cork City and County Harriers association was in the Puppy grade as GPO trained by Frank Allen of Griffin United showed true class on the finish.
The Griffin United stalwart was pleased with his hound's performance but as always put the success into perspective.
“Don’t get me wrong it’s always great to win especially at a meeting like this one but at my stage of life it is all about getting enjoyment and having a healthy hound,” said Frank Allen.
The main draghunt in the Senior race went to west Cork as the Gerry Murphy trained Castletownkenneigh ace Diamond landed the spoils.
Indeed the draghunt was dominated by ICDA hounds as Penny Lane and Misty completed a 1-2--3 a major achievement on the big stage.
The Puppy show proved to be a huge success with the honour of judging them going to Cumbrian Vanessa Simpson from Kendal.
A friend of association treasurer Trina Long of Southern/Carrigaline Harriers Vanessa and her husband Joe make regular trips to Cork and she was delighted being chosen to judge the show.
The dog pup winner was Jake trained by young Chris McCarthy of Kerry Pike bred out of Leah’s Choice and Mossy.
In the bitch grade Sean O’Sullivan’s Music of Griffin United came out on top but had to content for runner up in the overall winner to the Kerry Pike youngster.
Many thanks again to Michael John Buckley of Clogheen for organising the Puppy show.
The presentation of prizes took place at the Castle Hotel and Cork City and County Harriers Association chairman Christy Keating made a stirring speech before a large attendance.
“I would like to congratulate all the winners and placed hounds but to the folk who weren’t successful keep trying as your day will come,” said Christy Keating.
“To Michael John Buckley of Clogheen and Kenneth Lynch of Blarney many thanks for their trojan work and to the farming community that gave us permission to hold this meeting may I convey my thanks to all concerned.”