I JUST completed reading Eight Feet in the Andes by Lismore Co Waterford native Dervla Murphy. It’s a fascinating story of her journey on foot with her nine-year-old daughter Rachel and a pack mule following the route of the Conquistadors across the 1,300 mile torturous passes of the Andes Mountains in Peru. It reminded me of another remarkable lady, Elsie Morgan of Lismore, master and huntsman of the West Waterford Hounds, an Irish international showjumper and a winner of over 150 races.
I met Elsie Morgan and her husband Tom in 2004 at their home, Hunters Lodge near Lismore, and we scrolled through hunting memorabilia that Tom had collected over the years. Elsie and Tom were Welsh with wonderful musical accents. Elsie was a very modest lady and never talked about her remarkable feats of horsemanship across country.