MY first time hunting in Northern Ireland was about 40 years ago when I was loaned a horse with no brakes, at least that I could find.

The country was wonderful undulating farmland compliments of the Ice Age 30,000 years ago, with well-maintained stout hedges, but also tightly tensioned sheep wire with a few strand of barbed wire on top. Wire was disguised in hedges awaiting an intrepid rider to treat them casually at his or her pearl. But the followers take them as they meet them, and that applies to gates.