Draghunt season hoping to begin in May if restrictions allow it to happen

Draghunt season hoping to begin in May if restrictions allow it to happen

Martin and Jack Frayne, Northern Hunt with Bob and Ger Kenneally, Southern Harriers Carrigaline with Connors Jack at the Mayfield drag hunt at Whites Cross, Cork. Picture Dan Linehan

THE sport of draghunting looks set to make a return at the beginning of May if restrictions allow it to happen, when it will be run under the same Covid rules as last season.

Outgoing chairman Damien Wade is hoping the AGM can be fixed for the second week of April with the season likely to get the green light for the first weekend of May.

The season in Cork usually runs from the first Sunday of March to the last Sunday of September but for the second consecutive year their season has been disrupted.

In Cumbria trainers will be back in action on April 28 as the English association battle the same problems as their Irish counterparts.

Looking ahead Mr. Wade believes with relevant measures to be put in place the sport will have to start behind closed doors.

“Sadly, it looks like supporters will not be able to attend as it will be restricted just to trainers with judges and catchers and I must say last season we ran our sport to precision under restrictions,” said Damien Wade.

 Letting off the dogs in the senior race at the Mayfield drag hunt at Whites Cross, Cork. Picture Dan Linehan
Letting off the dogs in the senior race at the Mayfield drag hunt at Whites Cross, Cork. Picture Dan Linehan

The Cork association have this season up to 70 pups registered and that could prove difficult when the season eventually gets the green light.

The number of pups bred should be commended as clubs nowadays are sticking to home bred hounds instead of investing in hounds that have been tried and tested by our friends in Cumbria.

It took many years and thousands of sterling for the clubs in Cork to come to their senses because the bottom line is that no trainer will part with a good hound as they are too hard to get.

Many shrewd trainers will be in full knowledge that large slips for nervous and dainty hounds could see them lose their appetite for running.

It will be interesting to see what procedures the incoming committee make who no doubt they will have the welfare of hounds as their number one priority.

The departure of the Damien Wade from chairman could prove a void hard to fill for the new person taking up the position as this role is very demanding.

Commitment and dedication is needed at the top table and although a few names are being touted to fill the job the name of the new chairman or chairlady will not be known until convention.

Troy O’Mahony from the Mayfield club will continue as secretary and his contribution to the sport in recent years has been immense.

For the elder lemons of the sport the recent news from Cumbria that former trainer Lenny Archard had passed away was met with sadness.

In the eighties Lenny was a regular visitor to Cork and probably his best hound to run on Leeside was the Raymond Devereux Northern Hunt trained Above Board.

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