WITH the puppy show season winding down, surely the best wine was kept until last with the Scarteen Puppy Show which was held at their kennels last Friday evening. A poor forecast did not deter a huge attendance who were treated to a smashing show of Scarteen young entry. Judges Tom Wallace of the Cork National and Padraic Behan, huntsman of the Limerick Harriers, had six couple of the famed Black and Tan hounds to adjudicate on.

Despite the long Covid-enforced interruption for hunting, huntsman Raymond O’Halloran had done a marvellous job in producing a young entry which was up with the best Scarteen has ever produced.

Visitors were welcomed by senior master Chris Ryan and the dog hounds were the first to be judged with Granger (by Scarteen Judgement), walked by the O’Halloran family, taking the top honours. Meanwhile, the champion bitch was Dainty (by Scarteen Morley), walked by the O’Mullane family. Granger was adjudged the champion hound, with a special cup presented.

For all hound enthusiasts, perhaps the high point of the evening came when the whole pack were enlarged in the show ring. To see so many Black and Tans - every one of them could be from the same litter they were so even - was pure joy.

Among the visitors were David Lalor and Lionel Foot, master and chairman of the Laois Foxhounds. Also visiting were David Trant, (MH Nth Kerry Harriers) and Liz Barry and Dee Hogan, chairman and secretary of the neighbouring Co Limerick Foxhounds. Visiting from the Tipps and looking very smart were bloodstock agent Clare Ryan with Mona Croome-Carrol.

Four of the Scarteen joint-masters, Oliver Ryan-Purcell, Jake Murphy (who assisted in the ring), John Hourigan and Mairead English, who along with Triona FitzPatrick and team took care of catering, were on hand. Debutant joint-master Bill Hanly was unavoidably absent as he had a fancied runner at Ballinrobe.

Also missing was international show jumping rider Shane Breen as he was competing abroad as was Roger Dungworth who wasn’t able to get away from pressing harvest duties in Lincolnshire. Incoming hunt treasurer Richard Stapleton was on hand to enjoy the show.

After the prize-giving, all that was left was to prepare for autumn hunting at Scarteen the following morning.