Horses and hounds head to Ballybeg

After several weeks of enforced rest during the "big freeze", the Holestone Farmers' Bloodhounds welcomed around 50 very fresh horses to the Ballybeg Hunt, kindly hosted by the Montgomery and Fleck family.

The riders were delighted to hear from Whip Karen Fleck, that the first run of the day was uphill, a nice way to settle some of the more excitable horses, and their riders. Mother nature provided some great hedges, banks and ditches for the hunt to cross, whilst trying to keep up with the hounds who were in full flight with the Houndsman and Masters.

Even the fit Quarry, Sean McCavanna, was ready for the first stop of the day, 90 minutes in, where refreshments were very kindly provided by the Montgomery family, and very gladly received by the riders.

There was no time to rest however as Master Montgomery's cross county was upon us. The light-hearted were able to take to the road, but for the brave, several banks, tree-trunks and water jumps were there for the jumping. The photographer for the day, James McCullough, appeared to be having as much fun as the riders, taking photographs of the various tactical crossings of the large coffin on the cross country course, which Jacqui Sempey showed us all how to jump in style.

The ensuing lanes were scattered with delightful red pipes, which scared only the riders, and provided great entertainment for the watching supporters and farmers who had very kindly offered their land. The final run of the day was a long one, and much enjoyed by all, as was the wonderful stew and cake provided by the host families.

The Holestone Farmers' Bloodhounds would like to thank all the farmers who kindly offered their land to cross, and the Montgomery and Fleck family for arranging the hunt and providing gratefully received refreshments.