Glen Harriers annual Boxing Day Hunt in Ballycastle

The traditional 'Stirrup Cup' presented by Stevie of The Harbour Bar Ballycastle
The traditional 'Stirrup Cup' presented by Stevie of The Harbour Bar Ballycastle

It’s without a doubt one of the highlights of The Glen Harrier’s season, to be in Ballycastle for their annual Boxing Day Hunt.

2017 kept with tradition by providing a fun day for everyone and thankfully the weather stayed kind for most of the day.

There was tremendous variety in the fences, including natural hedging, whins and ditches. Joe Traynor riding Kate Bradley’s beautiful horse Marley took on the natural walls without question. Some fences were purpose built to provide more obstacles for the avid jumper, but as always, if you didn’t want to jump there was always a way around the fences. However, I don’t think that was an option for David Kerr on his horse May, Neil Kearns on Jake or Joint Hunt Master Dominic McMullan as they jumped for their lives clearing the whins in style.

Thanks must go to all the generous farmers and landowners for without them these events can not be held.

When riding through the various fields you sometimes come across the odd fallen tree and Aine Cassley didn’t miss the opportunity and jumped without hesitation, showing how it’s done.

Throughout the hunt the views were breathtaking. It didn’t matter what side of the town we were on and keeping with tradition the hunt took every opportunity to take photographs of the amazing scenery. With it being a clear day Rathlin Island could be seen in the background proving it was too good an opportunity to be missed.

It is at times like this, during a hunt that you appreciate the efforts of those that take the time to organise and set up the hunt, so with that said, a massive thank you to all involved.

As the hunt made its way through Ballycastle, everyone seemed pleased to see the spectacle of horses. There was the traditional ‘stirrup cup’ which was kindly handed out by Stevie from the Harbour Bar, Ballycastle to whom the Glen Harriers wish to extend their sincere thanks, your hospitality was very much appreciated.

The hunt moved on to the beach and what a treat it was. I don’t think the many bystanders have ever watched horses enjoy water like it and Jamie Quinn riding Courtney Watt’s horse Cruising on Finn got a little bit wet but was in his element (albeit a little cold).

Joan Laverty on her horse Fred made it across the water and shouted encouragement to Joint Hunt Master John Laverty and Committee Member Simone Madison as they entered the water, knowing it was going to be cold.

There was a lovely turnout for this annual hunt and the Glen Harriers would like to thank everyone for their support.

The Glen Harriers do however, wish to give a special mention of thanks to Katie Elliott for arranging the use of the Ramoan Parish Church Hall and not forgetting the lovely food that went down a treat, we really did appreciate this.

Now with all that said the Glen Harriers would like to say a belated Happy Christmas and a fantastic New Year to everyone.

The Glen Harriers are supporting The Ballycastle & Rural Riding Community on 6th January at Watertop Farm. All proceeds will be going to the Gillian Adams Angel Foundation. If you wish to join this ride contact The Ballycastle & Rural Riding Community via their Facebook page.

Anyone wishing to find out more about the Glen Harriers can message them on Facebook or ring either of the Joint Hunt Masters, John Laverty on 07752 232 148 or Dominic McMullan on 07802 470 722.

The Glen Harriers wish to stress that hunting is by invitation and guests must make contact prior to attending.