News & Events


The IMFHA Foxhound Show 2018


- SUNDAY 1st JULY 2018 -

At Stradbally Hall, Stradbally, Co Laois
(By kind permission of the Cosby family)

- EVENT UPDATE -

Some exhibiting packs may be concerned as to the dress of exhibiting packs for Sunday’s Foxhound Show amidst our present heat wave. After consulting a cross section of senior professional huntsmen of exhibiting packs the unanimous view was that proper hunting dress should be worn. The current forecast for Sunday on three weather web sites differs slightly but all warn of cooler temperatures (max 22c), cloud, breeze (18 km/h) and perhaps an occasional shower and maybe a thunderstorm.

On this basis hunting dress will be worn. Should conditions become excessive the Show Officials will exercise the option for competing hunt staff to change into ‘white coat order’ (bowler hat, white coat, shirt, tie, trousers and shoes) so exhibitors are asked to bring these items to the Show. Dress should not change without instruction from the main ring stewards.

Hounds pant at the best of times but exhibiting packs should ensure there is no overcrowding in hound vehicles and that a plentiful supply of water is available to their charges. The show will ensure drinking water is inside the collecting ring.

Any queries please contact the Stradbally Show Chairman (David Lalor MFH 087 254 2114)
or show Secretary (Roddy Bailey 086 263 5895).

Entries to be received for all classes except championships by Thursday 14th June 2018.

Post or email to: Roddy Bailey, Ballyfoley, Camolin, Enniscorthy, Co Wexford.
Tel: (H) 053 9389959 or (M) 086 268 5895. Email: roderic2@eircom.net

DOWNLOADS:
The IMFHA Class Schedule 2018: [Download Word Doc] - [Download PDF]
The IMFHA Show Conditions for 2018: [Download Word Doc] - [Download PDF]
The IMFHA Show Entry Forms 2018: [Download Word Doc] - [Download PDF]

In The News

Kildare Foxhounds huntsman Peter Cahill with joint-masters Andrew Perrin, Charlie Moore, Keith Broderick, and Colin Barrett at Stradbally Hall at the National Hound Show 2017. Entries for the 2018 show close on Thursday, June 14th next (Photo: Noel Mullins). From 'New competition at Stradbally Hound Show',The Irish Field, 27 April 2018

New competition at Stradbally Hound Show

There's a new competition for Old English Foxhounds at the Irish Masters of Foxhounds' Annual Show at Stradbally, Co Laois, in July. The Irish Field, 27 April 2018 ... Read article

Great hunting in lively company

Dickie Power enjoyed a good day out with the Co Waterford Foxhounds at Stradbally. The Irish Field, 16 Feb 2018 ... Read article

Much sadness at the death of Michael Higgens

Synonymous with The Tipperary Foxhounds, the late Michael Higgens did not let illness intrude on his love of hunting and the Irish countryside. The Irish Field, 2 February 2018   ... Read article

An historic day...

Dickie Power enjoys a day's hunting with the Kilmogannys at their Glenmore meet. The Irish Field, 15 December 2017  ... Read article

On a wing and a prayer...

Dickie Power takes to the country with the famous Scarteens for their traditional opening meet at Knocklong. The Irish Field, 17 November 2017  ... Read article

Breeding Thoughts - Stradbally Foxhounds

Roddy Bailey looks forward to the upcoming National Hound Show at Stradbally Hall. The Irish Field, 16 June 2017  ... Read article

Featured Article 01

'HuntsMan's Hints' by Roddy Bailey

The following is an edited extract from ‘Hunting Hints & Breeding Thoughts’ by Roddy Bailey published in 2017. [Read full article (PDF)]

The following are just hints for a huntsman based on my own experiences. These are my views not necessarily those of the IMFHA and they may not be shared by all. There is no blue print for handling a pack of hounds but perhaps my greatest mentor was Kilkenny born Tom Cody who hunted the Bramham Moor Hounds for more years than I care to count. It is important to remember hunting in Ireland is similar but not the same as Britain which is where I learnt my trade. Some aspects I mention may not apply to somebody hunting hounds where access for the huntsman is not as ‘manicured’ as it is in many (but not all) English countries. For example, in Ireland coverts rarely have ‘rides’ so the hunt staff cannot get about readily. Often, to get out of covert onto a fox’s line is a major undertaking perhaps involving the negotiation of several thick banks which takes time. Hardly ever is the Irish huntsman faced with the ease of two hunt jumps and a wicket gate and he is away.

A terrierman is essential. Properly conducted terrier work is vital to competent foxhunting. As regards the huntsman or kennel huntsman the saying that ‘if you want to breed a pack of hounds first breed your huntsman’ is true of both breeding and hound handling. I will leave the complexities of terrier work, earth stopping and country organisation to others. You can’t go foxhunting without foxes so love and respect the fox as a worthy and honoured quarry and not as a sorry pest. The welfare aspects of kennels are well covered by the Hunting Association of Ireland’s Guidelines for Hunt Kennels in Ireland published in 2007. Martin Letts’s Notes From a Hound Man is invaluable to the huntsman be he/she honorary or professional, and the ‘honorary’ should aspire to be as professional as his or her skills allow. I have incorporated some of Martin’s advice in this article. No huntsman should take to the field without consuming the short but essential Goodall’s Practice - advice such as that booklet contains doesn’t come better. Since the performance of a pack of hounds is firstly handling and secondly breeding I have tried to remember some pointers that helped me provide some fun for those who love hunting.

Handling. I learnt hounds should be on a loose rein as much as possible; any fool can hold a pack behind but it takes an artist to have them in front on a ‘thread’. This is achieved by skill at hound exercise and in the kennel using its layout to advantage. One famous huntsman believed hounds should be treated like ladies i.e. kennel gates opened for them and then hounds invited through. Young hounds coming in from walk must receive attention from that moment onwards. This is part of their formative period. They must not be neglected until hunting has finished. Hounds are intelligent individuals and should be treated as such. They should spend the maximum amount of time outside kennels and be exercised at least twice daily and it should be fun for them. The timing of exercise and walking out should be the same each day - hounds thrive on routine. .... Read full article (PDF)

Exercise and walking out ‘should be fun for them’. Walking Out 1994.


On the road. ‘It is often appropriate for the whipper-in to be in front of the huntsman’. Morpeth First Whipper In and Kennel Huntsman Sandy Wilson in front and the Huntsman behind. (2003). Photo: Trevor Meeks.


Featured Article 02

'Some Breeding Thoughts on the Foxhound' by Roddy Bailey

I hope these pointers help huntsmen throughout Ireland. Many of these ideas were learnt from foxhunters far and wide but special place must be given to Kilkenny born Tom Cody of the Bramham Moor. Rarely was a professional huntsman ‘of the old school’ more forgiving of a boy on a bicycle. It is often interesting to read of other people’s experiences and maybe these thoughts might be informative as well. Some may disagree with parts. Healthy debate helps the sport we all love and there is no blue print for breeding hounds.

Many hunting friends helped me with these suggestions although the content is my fault entirely.
Roddy Bailey. [View full article (PDF)]

Essential Elements

In order to breed any pack of hounds the following elements are essential:
• To breed a pack of hounds first secure the support of the person looking after them.
• Have an accurate hound list showing all hounds in the kennel by age, sex, sire and dam. A summary by year and sex is usually necessary. See sample.
• Have a list of all the bitches showing their date of previous ‘seasons’ and the date when each bitch is forecast next to come into season.
• Maintain all the pedigrees of each hound to at least six generations. See the ‘line bred’ example illustrated.
• Have access to the British MFHA Hound Breeding web site and learn to use the ‘trial mating’ option (Username and password needed). All foxhounds bred in Ireland are in the British maintained Foxhound Kennel Stud Book which is the source for the MFHA web site.
• Know the type of hound the huntsman/handler prefers ie Modern or ‘Old English’ foxhound.
• Know the foxhound tradition of the kennel ie Modern or ‘Old English’ foxhound.
• Have a secure kennel with continuity in hunt management.

Without the above the hound breeder cannot begin.

Note: These thoughts are mostly confined to the Stud Book Foxhound (Modern or ‘Old English’) although the principles apply to other working hounds.

Chance Breeding v Line Breeding

Many hunts select a good doghound and a good bitch and use them. This method can produce an odd good foxhound but it is ‘chance breeding’. You end up with a pack of individuals and their conformation faults mean more hounds have to be kept to cover frequent lameness and the pack tends to be less effective in the field. The aim of the hound breeder is to produce a ‘level’ (ie uniform make and shape) pack of hounds that are athletic and work as a team. Hound colour should play no part unless the kennel wishes to maintain a ‘colour’ tradition. The better their conformation the less the hound takes out of itself. Therefore it is able to continue effectively when other hounds are tired often producing successful hunts at the end of a four hour hunting day. The breeder should use hounds with qualities of nose, cry, stamina, fox sense, temperament and drive and this requires breeding from known hounds with these requisite characteristics. Such ‘known’ hounds need not be current performers; the breeder may wish to breed back to hounds of the past whose families were renowned foxhounds. Moreover such athletic hounds have the ability to turn out two or three times a week and their soundness means they rarely go lame. An economic advantage of a pack of well put together hounds is the hunt need not keep so many hounds since soundness results in fewer hounds being lame. There is no point in keeping a hound that can only go out once a week. The way to produce this all round athletic team of hounds with good qualities hunting two or three days a week is by line breeding not chance breeding. Line breed for work and voice, breed more than you want to allow some selection and get them as good looking as possible.

What is meant by Line Breeding?

Line breeding is a form of close breeding and therefore great care must be taken by the breeder. How do we go about doing this? The most important part when selecting a hound to breed from is that he/she and all the family must be good workers. It follows that kennels should not breed from a hound that is too young (nor too old).

[View full article (PDF)]

Example of a Line Bred Old English type foxhound. Waterford Panther ’09. Photo: R Markham.


Example of a Line Bred ‘Modernised’ Old English type foxhound. Sir Watkin Williams - Wynn’s Parker ’08. Photo: Richard Tyacke MFH


Example of a Line Bred Modern foxhound. VWH Smiler ’09 (Peterborough Bitch Champion 2010). Photo: Martin Scott & Jim Meads.


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Available from September 2018 from Brian McDonagh at €30 each, plus €5 post & packaging. To reserve your copy/ies please send your address and cheque (payable to ‘Brian McDonagh’) to: Brian McDonagh, 16 Melbourne Business Park, Model Farm Road, Cork.
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Carlow Farmers Huntsman Ado Moran (Left) and South Tyrone Huntsman Ryan Carvill in the final stages of the Doghound Championship with the winner South Tyrone Hardy ‘16 on the right. Carlow Farmers Belfry was Reserve. Photo © Siobhan English.

 

The eventual two couples bitches winners from Kildare. Whippers in Keith Barrett (left), Colin Barrett in white coat and Huntsman Peter Cahill. Photo © Catherine Power.

IMFHA Annual Show 2017

The Foxhound Show attracted an entry of 19 packs and was well attended many people from all over Ireland. The judging was of a high order and both teams demonstrated how hound judging should be done. Some thought the doghounds were probably not as good as the bitches. The Louth unentered litter (Racer, Ranger, Racket & Ration - home bred by Randle ’12 out of Tipsey ’13) were outstanding; the best example of their type seen for some time. The two couple bitches were the best class of the day and arguably the most important to win. Any one of the four prize winners would enhance any kennel. The South Tyrone exuded consistent quality. The Carlow Farmers had some good unentered doghounds and hopefully they will produce some high class bitches in the future. The strength of any kennel is the bitches and full marks to the Ballymacad and West Wicklow for pursuing that goal. The South Union proved the two couple class is where the rosettes should be and the presence of the Tynan & Armagh was most welcome. Given a bit of time they will be in the money. It is believed this was their first trip to this ring since records began. The stallion hound class winner was North Cotswold Downton ’15 (shown by the Tipperary) and is clearly a worthy sire. The winning brood bitch was the home bred Kildare Daley ’13 and a good example from this famous kennel.

South Tyrone Hardy ’16 claimed the Doghound Championship (having been Unentered Champion last year) with Carlow Farmers Belfry the Reserve. To finish the day the Bitch Championship was awarded to Ballymacad Mantra ’16 (from the two couples class) with the unentered South Tyrone Rascal in Reserve.

All expressed their appreciation to the Cosby family for the use of Stradbally Park and to the Laois Hunt for doing the ‘heavy lifting’ that makes the event happen. The ring looked immaculate thanks to Show Chairman David Lalor’s team and their supporters. The amended schedule (which included the new two couples class for doghounds) was considered a success by exhibitors.

Download: IMFHA Show Results 2017 (PDF format)

For further information please contact David Lalor, Chairman, IMFHA on 087 254 2114 or email dlalor@imfha.ie OR Entries Secretary, Roddy Bailey on 086 268 5895 or email roderic2@eircom.net