THE dominance of Shanakiel Harriers in the Puppy grade in the opening fortnight has certainly been a talking point among the draghunting fraternity.
No doubt the form kennel has been the Thomas, Pa and Chloe Murray one who proved they have three hounds all capable of winning.
The Meg has proved to be their leading light with two wins, but last weekend Time will Tell proved he has got what it takes to win a draghunt when finishing well to take the Griffin United honours at Whitechurch.
It is always great to see young people getting involved in the sport and Pa Murray’s daughter Chloe has now got the draghunting bug and plays a big part in the training of all the hounds in their kennel.
Since Shanakiel Harriers returned back to the Cork association they have made a big impact that culminated them last season winning the Senior All-Ireland draghunt with Captain James trained by Barry O’Keeffe.
For Pa Murray the sport to him is all about getting enjoyment.
“Our kennel had a poor run last season but thankfully this time around it’s a lot better and we are hoping that bit of luck sticks with us as its nice to be among the placed hounds with winning always an added bonus,” said Pa Murray.
Indeed, it’s great to see the number of pups competing this season as they are the future of the sport.
Getting pups to progress into making decent Senior hounds is the goal of the majority of trainers and hopefully clubs continue to with the present trend of producing quality home bred hounds.
The Griffin United meeting last weekend proved to be a major success as John O’Sullivan and his band of fellow club members put together good Puppy and Senior courses.
Training a draghunting hound takes lots of time and finance and when they turn out for the weekly meets the least, they deserve is good clean running on a neutral course.
The form this season has gone to plan for the Clogheen duo of Slievemish Spring and Jazzy Whizz as they have been dominating recent draghunts.
On Sunday last Jazzy Whizz led his clubmate Slievemish Spring on route to the tape but in the style of a very good hound the John and Brion O’Callaghan trained Authority finished like a scalded cat to land the spoils.
Authority is a known bandit when it comes to racing to the finishing tape and once again, he showed his class when it mattered that earned him the stripes on the day.
The draghunting bandwagon rolls on to Ballineen this weekend that will start tonight with the Puppy meet that has an 8pm scheduled slip.
Senior trainers please note the slip for the Senior draghunt on Sunday will be at 3pm.