A STUNNING running display by Mossgrove Daisy of Shanakiel Harriers saw her crowned the Gurranabraher Credit Union Senior All-Ireland champion before a capacity attendance at Cloyne.
Credit to Cloyne Harriers they put together a magnificent open course that saw the hounds start at Bohermore before they headed straight for Ballincarra.
From that vantage point, the hounds travelling at a good pace made the route to Ballintotis before making a right towards Ballymaloe.
The huge attendance in the field saw the hounds on the skyline as they made their way to Castle Hill.
It was onwards and upwards for 70 competing hounds as the various trainers called their hounds to the tape at Bohermore.
When the call went up the winner had a decent lead and as the hounds entered the last field the former Puppy champion of 2019 kept the gallop up to run out a comfortable winner.
Trained by Barry O’Sullivan Mossgrove Daisy proved throughout the season that she had the credentials to win a major draghunt but amazingly only won her first draghunt last week at the non-winners that was staged at Ballymacoda.
Injuries affected Mossgrove Daisy at certain stages of the season but her trainer Barry O’Sullivan was elated with winning this prestigious draghunt.
“What can I say after her Puppy season only that we had little luck in her first season and this year was also a fit start one but when I saw her winning last week at Ballymacoda I had a good feeling about today,” said Barry.
The O’Sullivan household is father Barry and sons Finbarr and Kieran and in the words of the winning trainer, it’s a family effort.
“We love this sport and to win the biggest draghunt on the calendar is a dream come true and no doubt we will celebrate in style as we might never again witness a day like it," added Barry.
In the style of a true sportsman, Barry paid tribute to his fellow club members who have always helped him since he joined ranks with the city club.
“In Shanakiel Harriers we have a great group and last year when Captain James won it we were delighted for Barry O’Keeffe and today its our day but that’s the beauty of sport,” concluded O’Sullivan.
Let’s spare a thought for the trainer of the runner-up Authority John O’Callaghan who paid tribute to his hound for his battling performance.
“It wasn’t to be but Authority left everything at Cloyne as he was flying on the finish but Mossgrove Daisy had too much of a lead on him and congratulations to Barry O’Sullivan on their win,” said John Callaghan.
The Northern Hunt hound was crowned champion hound this season and one of his connections Darren Clarke travelled from England for the big day.
“At the start of the season if you would have told us that we would win nine draghunts with Authority and would finish runner up in the All Ireland as well as our kennel winning the Donal O’Mahony Senior Draghunt I would certainly have taken it,” added O’Callaghan.
Trina and Ken Long of Southern/Carrigaline Harriers kept the Senior Maiden flag flying when their hound Blue Lad ran an absolute cracker to snatch third ticket.
Jake of Kerry who incidentally led the last road only to be passed the steep climb on route to coming into view and his connections will be pleased in their journey back over the county bounds.
Sheila Cummins and Gerry Murphy of the IHT are quality trainers and their charge Northern Belle ran a cracking draghunt to fill fifth ticket.
The remaining and final sixth ticket went Bonny Kate of Kerry.
Many thanks must to Will Kearney whose land was used for the start and finish and to all the farming community in this region who gave leave for permission to run over their land Before the hounds showed on the finish a rainbow was in full view over the finishing field.
The old saying at the end of every rainbow there is a possibility of a Pot of Gold.
On this occasion no Pot of Gold for Mossgrove Daisy but the All-Ireland Senior title will suffice for Barry O’Sullivan.