Cork draghunting review: Making the most of a difficult year

Cork draghunting review: Making the most of a difficult year

Damien Wade, chairman, Cork City & County Harriers Association, (right) presenting the John O’Mahony Cup to Barry O’Keeffe and his grand-daughter Aoife O’Keeffe, Shanakiel Harriers, owners of Captain James, after winning the Gurranabraher Credit Union All-Ireland Senior Draghunt at Whitechurch. Picture Denis Minihane.

THE Cork City and County Harriers Association will remember the 2020 season with relief and satisfaction in a year that was totally disrupted as they lost over three months of the campaign.

It all began back on the first Sunday of March when Clogheen Harriers hosted the first meeting of the season at Glenville.

In the Senior draghunt the Shanakiel Harriers father and son training partnership of Thomas and Pa Murray were celebrating when Jet Ski Lady crossed the tape ahead of clubmate Border Lad.

Indeed, it proved to be a good day for the Shanakiel Harriers as they completed a Senior double when the Barry O’Sullivan trained Mossgrove Lazy landed the spoils.

Griffin United trained Pat O’Leary got his Puppy campaign off to a perfect start when Curly Sue ran out an impressive winner.

Trainers were now getting serious and a trip to the west Cork venue of Ballinadee was next on the agenda for the IHT annual meet.

It proved a good day for Northern Hunt trainers John O’Callaghan and Darren Clarke when their charge Authority won his first Senior draghunt.

The newly formed Kerry Pike/Fair Hill Harriers had a 1.2 in the Senior Maiden draghunt when No Frontiers edged out Mischief.

News filtered through that the coronavirus was taking its grip in Ireland and the association had little choice but to call a halt to proceedings.

After a 14-week break June 20 could come fast enough and Mayfield Harriers were the first club to host a meeting on the resumption.

In the Senior draghunt a fine run by the Dave and Damien Kidney trained Samantha’s Lass saw her edge out the Shanakiel Harriers veteran Border Lad.

The Kidney family completed a double when Samantha’s Rose produced a sterling run to chalk up her first win of the campaign.

In the Senior Maiden Monica Walsh’s Star Man of Kerry Pike/Fair Hill Harriers was a popular winner for the training connections of James Green.

The International meeting that is usually held in May fell foul of the pandemic and the Munster championships at Carrig Na BhFear was the first major meet of the season.

There was a major shock in the Puppy race but Kerry Pike/Fair Hill Harriers trainer James Green was elated when his charge Star Boy crossed the tape ahead of Samantha’s Rose and Sheares Park Bring it On.

Tomás Singleton, Singleton SuperValu, presenting the trophy to John and Seán O’Sullivan, Griffin United, winners of the Cork City & County Harriers Association All-Ireland Puppy Draghunt near Blarney with Melody. Left is John’s nephew Callum Wolfe. Picture Denis Minihane
Tomás Singleton, Singleton SuperValu, presenting the trophy to John and Seán O’Sullivan, Griffin United, winners of the Cork City & County Harriers Association All-Ireland Puppy Draghunt near Blarney with Melody. Left is John’s nephew Callum Wolfe. Picture Denis Minihane

The big draghunt of the day saw a terrific front running performance from the Clogheen hound Slievemish Spring who saw off the Southern/Carrigaline Harriers duo of Conor’s Jack and Samantha’s Lass.

Clogheen were beginning to show their class in the Senior grade and Jazzy Whizz completed a Senior double for them when winning the Senior Maiden draghunt.

The second Seanie ‘Pool’ Walsh memorial meeting was held in Donoughmore and it proved a great day for Southern/Carrigaline Harriers as Samantha’s Lass and Conor’s Jack made it a 1.2.

Samantha’s Rose showed a good turn of foot to win the Puppy draghunt but the biggest cheer of the day was reserved for the Senior Maiden winner Star Man who brought tears of joy Monica Walsh and her two daughters Joy and Susan.

Another former great was remembered when the Garry O’Sullivan memorial meeting was hosted at Rathduff and once again Senior champion elect Jamie’s Lady of Clogheen showed her class to win the Senior draghunt.

It was an impressive 1.2.3 for the Clogheen club as clubmates Slievemish Spring and Jazzy Whizz were in close contention.

There was a dead heat in the Senior Maiden draghunt as the video technology couldn’t separate Kilanetig Lad of the IHT and the Griffin United hound Little Miss with Samantha’s Rose winning the Puppy draghunt.

Aaron Freyne, with Jamies Lady the winner of the Senior International Cup at the International draghunt at Grange, Timoleague, West Cork. Also included are, William Freyne, Shirley and Jamie Quiligan, Martin and Michael Freyne. Picture Dan Linehan
Aaron Freyne, with Jamies Lady the winner of the Senior International Cup at the International draghunt at Grange, Timoleague, West Cork. Also included are, William Freyne, Shirley and Jamie Quiligan, Martin and Michael Freyne. Picture Dan Linehan

Blarney hosted the Puppy All-Ireland draghunt and what a day it proved for the Griffin United father and son training partnership of John and Sean O’Sullivan.

When the hounds showed they were a few in with a chance of winning but as the call went up from the enthusiastic trainers Melody finished like a scolded cat to win from River Lane Lad and Guinness.

Just when draghunting enthusiasts were getting over the shock of the Puppy-Ireland winner it was the turn of Whitechurch to host the Blue Riband All-Ireland Senior draghunt.

It proved to be another day for an outsider as the Barry O’Keeffe trained Captain James of Shanakiel Harriers sprung a 50/1 shock as he crossed the tape impressively from Northern Daisy of the IHT and Slievemish Spring.

May I take this opportunity to thank chairman Damien Wade and secretary Troy O’Mahony for providing the relevant photos and results on a weekly basis. The work of executive committees can sometimes not get the deserved credit and hopefully the incoming committee will show similar resilience.

Condolences to the family of John Ahern who sadly passed away and to our former chairman Frank Quinlan of Fair Hill whose wife Kathleen died in November.

2020 HONOURS LIST

  • Senior Champion/Bitch: Jamie’s Lady (Clogheen)
  • Runner Up Senior: Slievemish Spring (Clogheen)
  • Senior Maiden: Viper Whizz (Clogheen)- Dead Heat Kilanetig Lad (IHT)
  • Puppy/Bitch Champion: Samantha’s Gem (Carrigaline/Southern Harriers).
  • Runner-Up Puppy: Jamie’s Gem (Clogheen).
  • Home Bred Hound: Jamie’s Gem (Clogheen).
  • Senior Club Championship: (Clogheen).
  • Puppy Club Championship: (Clogheen).
  • Senior Maiden Club Championship: (IHT)
  • Overall Club Champions: (Clogheen).

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