CHAMPION Authority of Northern Hunt returned to winning ways when taking the honours at Stuake in the Clogheen Senior draghunt.
The terrain at Stuake is ideal for hounds with good open running as they set a ferocious pace from start to finish.
When the hounds showed on the long call to the tape the winner showed fifth but once again class prevailed as he ran out a seven-length winner from the consistent Blue Lad trained by Trina and Ken Long of Southern/Carrigaline Harriers.
Captain James of Shanakiel Harriers ran another cracking draghunt in third as Samantha’s Rose, Little Miss and Guinness concluded the ticketing hounds.
IHT trainers Joe and Sean Hennessy hadn’t been in the ticketing hounds up to the last week when they had a win with Kilanetig Lad and they followed up with second success in the Senior Maiden draghunt.
There was a problem for many hounds in this draghunt as two-thirds of the slip failed to complete the course.
In the end the winner showed his experience and crossed the tape ahead of the Kerry Pike/Fair Hill Harriers duo of Casey’s Girl and Dublin Pike Lass.
The remaining placed hounds were Ava’s Boy, Comet and Josh’s Boy.
The Puppy meet got the weekend off to a perfect start with championship leader Kilbrittain Girl of Shanakiel Harriers getting back to winning ways following a gutsy performance on the finish.
Reports from the vantage points suggested the lead changed hands a number of times but on the race to finishing tape the winner saw off Sally’s Girl of Northern Hunt trained by Stephen and Kyle Quilligan.
The consistent Wolfe Tone Lass from Martin Wall’s Mayfield kennel took third ticket with Saoirse, Diamond and Sean T concluding the ticketing hounds.
Speaking after the draghunt the winning trainer Kieran Kearney praised the consistency of his hound. “Kilbrittain Girl is a genuine hound and that’s a huge plus for any trainer knowing that you are going to get 100% effort in every draghunt.”
Finally this week the unexpected death last week of Fair Hill stalwart Christy Conway brought sadness to his family and many friends he encountered throughout his successful draghunting career.
Make no mistake Christy was a top-class trainer that began with his 1986 Senior championship success with Limbo that was followed with further successes in 2001 with Fowler and Tico in 2003.
In 1996 he took over the training reins of Mandy and guided her to Senior All-Ireland Draghunt success at Ballynoe.
Four years later he completed the All-Ireland double when he trained the fun running Fowler to win the Puppy equivalent. In my many years knowing Christy he was always a caring decent man and the Cork City and County Harriers association would like to extend their sympathy to the Conway family on their sad loss.
May he rest in peace.