CHAMPIONSHIP leader Slievemish Spring of Clogheen consolidated his position at the summit when producing another sterling run to see off Authority of Northern Hunt and win the Michael Forde Senior Memorial Draghunt at Mayfield.
Reports from the vantage points suggested the hounds travelled at pace from start to finish but when they showed on the finish it was a two dog race with the winner and the eventual third Blue Lad of battling for supremacy.
In the end Slievemish Spring pulled away with Authority coming out of the chasing pack to snatch second ahead of Blue Lad of Southern/Carrigaline Harriers.
The consistent Captain James of Shanakiel Harriers filled fourth ahead of Samantha’s Rose and Guinness.
In the Senior Maiden draghunt The Meg of Shanakiel Harriers crossed the tape in first place but was disqualified for taking ground on the finish.
The honours eventually went to the Aaron Freyne trained Jamie’s Gem who saw off the Thomas Canniffe trained Ranger and High Maintenance trained by James Green of Kerry Pike/Fair Hill Harriers.
Race favourite Kilanetig Boy had to be content with fourth ticket ahead of the Kerry Pike/Fair Hill harriers duo Dublin Pike Lass and Comet.
The Puppy meet was also hosted at the same venue and the honours went to the Sean and John O’Sullivan Griffin United training partnership as Sean T took the honours.
On an evening better suited to ducks than hounds the Griffin United ace finished strong to see off Kilbrittain Girl of Shanakiel Harriers and Penny’s Girl from the IHT.
Tanner of Griffin United led the minor placed hounds home ahead of Naoi and Sally’s Girl.
There was natural elation in the winning cap as Sean O’Sullivan praised his hounds consistency.
O’Sullivan said: “Sean T has been a great addition to our kennel and we are having great fun with him as he’s consistently among the placed hounds.”
The English International meeting at Clearmire really showed a serious decline of where is the sport is presently at in the Lake District.
The biggest race of the day in the Senior grade only attracted a total of 14 hounds whilst the Puppy grade had the same tally.
This is a worrying trend for our friends across the water as the sport needs a serious lift in their bid for survival that will be tested in the coming years.
In recent weeks the draghunting fraternity have lose some notable members and last week Griffin United stalwart Timmy Herlihy passed away.
Always a good-humoured man he served his club with honour and distinction for many years.
To his wife Ina and family the Cork association would like to extend their deepest sympathy. May he Rest in Peace.
1. Slievemish Spring (Clogheen); 2. Authority (Northern Hunt); 3. Blue Lad (Southern/Carrigaline Harriers); 4. Captain James (Shanakiel Harriers); 5. Samantha’s Rose (Southern/Carrigaline Harriers); 6. Guinness (IHT).
1. Jamie’s Gem (Clogheen); 2. Ranger (Shanakiel Harriers); 3. High Maintenance (Kerry Pike/Fair Hill Harriers); 4. Kilanetig Boy (IHT); 5. Dublin Pike Lass (Kerry Pike/Fair Hill Harriers); 6. Comet (Kerry Pike/Fair Hill Harriers).
1. Sean T (Griffin United); 2. Kilbrittain Girl (Shanakiel Harriers); 3. Penny’s Girl (IHT); 4. Tanner (Griffin United); 5. Naoi (IHT); 6. Sally’s Girl (IHT).