Fine day out for Route Hunt at Ballymoney

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On Saturday 6th December, Route Hunt members and visitors gathered in the courtyard at O’Harabrook Estate, Ballymoney for their weekly hunt.

Hunt Master Philip White welcomed everyone to O’Harabrook and thanked Bridget, Harry, Rupbert and Patrick for the stirrup cup served and the use of the estate land.

The hunt left the estate via the back lane and there was a short hack before the first jump of the day. All cleared this with ease and were excited by the large old fallen tree which was the next jump.

Spirits were high so the majority of riders took on the tree, but a few gave it a miss.

At the next fence Huntsman Jonny Butler and whip in Gerard McCloskey had to come to the rescue as one of the horse didn’t quite make the fence and got its back hoof caught. Thankfully there was no harm done and both horse and rider finished the hunt in style.

The next fence was a stile between two trees which everyone sailed over in style.

Next was a short hack over a couple of fields to get to the next stile. The landing for this jump was very soft and muddy but all stayed on board.

Several more stile-type fences followed before a hack on the road to the next fields where more stiles and a rather watery ditch lay ahead. Some decided against the ditch as they wanted to finish the hunt dry, but all those whose crossed stayed on board.

There were several more stiles before the five bar gate. There was a stile option beside the gate but only a couple of riders used the stile.

There was then a laneway for a short canter before the final hack of the day which brought the hunt via Bendooragh to the back of O’Harabrook Estate.

The weather had held up for the day and all had enjoyed another good day out thanks to those who had set up the hunt and to farmers and landowners who allowed the hunt the use of their land for the day. Without this the hunt would not exist.

The next hunt is at noon on Saturday 13th December.

The organisers hope to see a good turnout of members and visitors and welcome anyone who wishes to follow the hunt on foot.