Northern Hunt hound Authority had a great year for John and Brion O'Callaghan

In the closing weeks of the season, the hound dominated the draghunting scene when producing explosive finishes and for the other partner in the hound Darren Clarke who is based in England it was a season to remember.
Northern Hunt hound Authority had a great year for John and Brion O'Callaghan

Senior draghunt winner Audacity, owned by John O'Callaghan of Griffin United took the win by the narrowest of margins on the finish line, with Daniel Fleming, Hugh O'Callaghan, Ciara McSweeny and draghunt sponsors Tom and Tomas Singleton. The Donie O'Mahony Memorial Draghunt, sponsored by Singleton's SuperValu, Hollyhill at Blarney. Picture: Larry Cummins

THE 2021 draghunting season will be remembered for the remarkable performances produced by Northern Hunt hound Authority that saw the talented hound clinch his first Senior championship.

In the closing weeks of the season, the John and Brion O’Callaghan trained hound dominated the draghunting scene when producing explosive finishes and for the other partner in the hound Darren Clarke who is based in England it was a season to remember.

Due to the pandemic, the season got underway on the 5th of June at Mayfield with the Senior honours going to the Damien Wade Clogheen trained Slievemish Spring.

In the Senior Maiden Draghunt, there was joy for Shanakiel Harriers trainer Barry O’Sullivan when his charge Mossgrove Lazy produced a magnificent run to land the spoils.

There was a good slip of 44 pups in the opening draghunt, at the same venue and it proved a good day for the Murray family of Shanakiel as their charge Rock on Boy came home an impressive winner.

Trained by Pa, Thomas and Chloe this hound was consistent throughout the season and along with his kennelmates look to have the stamina to contend in the Senior ranks next season.

The first major draghunt of the season was hosted at Carrig na Bhfear when the Munster championships were held in July.

In good open terrain, the big race of the day went to the Damien and Dave Kidney trained Samantha’s Lass was crowned champion in style.

The winner and kennelmate Samantha’s Gem of Southern/Carriglaine Harriers made it an impressive 1.2 and in the end it proved a great day for the Kidney family and their club.

Darren Clarke and John O’Callaghan of Northern Hunt with Authority, senior champion hound of 2021.
Darren Clarke and John O’Callaghan of Northern Hunt with Authority, senior champion hound of 2021.

The Gerry Murphy trained Tiger of the IHT won the Senior Maiden draghunt from kennelmate Guinness.

Kieran Kearney was jumping for joy when his Shanakiel Harriers hound Maxine Siver won the Puppy draghunt as she saw off the talented Clogheen hound Not Now Joy.

Dedicated Fair Hill/Kerry Pike harriers trainers Tristan and Chloe Herlihy were over the moon when their charge Shergar won the Puppy Maiden draghunt.

For many years the Donal O’Mahony draghunt has been one of the most enjoyable meetings on the calendar and new sponsor Thomas Singleton and his father Tom (Snr) were there to enjoy the carnival atmosphere.

The John O’Callaghan Northern Hunt kennel were having a great season with champion elect Authority but it was his second-string Audacity who created a 50/1 shock that saw her crowned Senior winner.

The Donal O’Donovan Griffin United trained Little Miss looked destined for glory but swerved before the line as Audacity finished like a scolded cat to win much to the shock of the large gathering.

IHT trainer Gerry Murphy showed his hunger for big-race success when his charge Tiger pipped Eden Lad of Fair Hill/Kerry Pike Harriers in the Senior Maiden draghunt.

After going so close to winning the Senior race Griffin United trainer Donal O’Donovan who was hospitalised on the day would have got huge relief when his talented High Miss won the Puppy race.

Blue Tornado of the IHT showed the best turn of foot to win the Puppy Maiden Draghunt when seeing off Lady La La of Southern/Carrigaline Harriers.

The Puppy All Ireland at Ballymacoda proved to be a huge shock as the Barry O’Keeffe trained The Blazer of Shanakiel Harriers saw off the strong challenge of the Christy and Marie Keating trained Maltese of Kerry Pike/Fair Harriers.

Donal O’Donovan and family with High Miss of Griffin United Puppy champions 2021.
Donal O’Donovan and family with High Miss of Griffin United Puppy champions 2021.

East Cork certainly came to the fore as Cloyne hosted the Senior All-Ireland Draghunt and once again draghunting trainers and supporters were treated to a magnificent course.

In the end, the honours went to the Barry O’Sullivan trained Mossgrove Daisy who saw off the fast-finishing Authority that completed a memorable All-Ireland double for Shanakiel Harriers Sadly during the year we lost some notable members of the sport with the passing of Keith O’Callaghan, Monica Walsh, Marie Healy, Mary Keating, Michelle Mulcahy (Canniffe), John O’Hare, Nora Conway all people who supported and trained hounds in our sport.

To the families of all these deceased people, we tender our prayers that you get through this festive period remembering your loved ones and happy memories.

May I take this opportunity to wish the draghunting fraternity a very Happy and Peaceful Christmas and best wishes for 2022.

Championships

Senior Champion Hound: Authority (Northern Hunt); Champion Bitch/Runner Up: Samantha’s Lass (Southern/Carrigaline Harriers).

Senior Maiden Champion: Tiger (IHT). 

Puppy Champion: High Miss (Griffin United) Runner Up Puppy: Not Now Joy (Clogheen).

Puppy Maiden Champion: Spirit (IHT).

Puppy Club Champions: (Shanakiel Harriers),

Senior Club Champions: (Northern Hunt). 

Maiden Club Champions: (IHT).

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