WITH Covid now gladly only a fading memory, the Scarteen Hunt were able to run their famed cross-country ride which had been in abeyance for the last couple of seasons.
Overnight declaration for the Lattin event, had more than 50 jockeys forward with about a third from Scarteen and the balance from as far as the Wexford’s, the Stonehall, the Co Kilkennys and not forgetting the Muskerry and United packs.
Organiser in chief for the day was Richard Ryan, also the pathfinder. Riders gathered in the village’s only remaining pub which happened to be his uncle’s. In fact some of the best banks of the day were on land closely associated with the family.
A couple of weeks of hard work by a team which included Richard Ryan, his dad Liam, Jake Murphy MFH, Niall O’Connell, Martin McGrath, Eamonn Gleeson and John Breen, all of whom had walked the country taking down wire and above all getting permission from the 30 or so landowners whose land was going to be crossed. Richard Stapelton and Triona Fitzpatrick handled entries and waivers etc. No detours was necessary as all those asked were glad to co-operate and make some of finest banks to be found in the hunting world available on the day.
Corrine Hyde had come from Cork and summed it up saying, ”It was just what it said on the tin, good honest jumping, big but fair and plenty of it. We covered 20 km and there was no roadwork, it was jumping all the way.”
Your correspondents were placed strategically about half way on the course on a monumental bank in Roseboro on a farm owned by Liam and Leah O’Neill. There was a huge reach on to it and the take-off was sticky to say the least of it. More than a few fell back and had to re-present but veterans such as Oliver Ryan-Purcell, Scarteen joint-master on his dappled grey, took it in their stride.
Huntsman Hughie Ryan, bringing on a nice bay that no doubt he will hunt hounds off soon, showed a real bit of class. Father and daughter team of Charlie and Bonnie Trigg came away with a clean sheet. The Dore family were well represented with dad Carl, young Jack, the youngest to take part, and his brother Kian who is making an international name as a show jumping rider. Veteran of the day was Willie Crowe from Bansha who had a good clear round.
The pace was leisurely giving stragglers a chance to catch up and overall they were out over three hours on horseback from flagfall to finish. While there were more than a few dirty coats, the broad smiles of the returning riders more than made up for them.