THE Irish Masters of Foxhounds Association (IMFHA) announced that chairman David Lalor stepped aside at a recent committee following what was described as ‘five challenging years at the helm’.

The IMFHA committee appointed Lord Waterford (MFH Waterford Hunt) as the new chairman.

Lord Waterford joined the committee in thanking David Lalor for his work and as the IMFHA’s representative to the Hunting Association of Ireland. During his tenure, the Association faced a number of unprecedented challenges, not least the Covid-19 pandemic and hunt insurance, two factors that significantly disrupted hunting over the past two years.

An IMFHA statement said: “Having worked with various sub-committees, David Lalor played his part in revising and adopting a new Constitution and Rules, revising the hunt kennel standards, and implementing Covid-19 protocols in line with the Government guidelines. Latterly he had been working with the insurance sub-committee to secure a solution for hunting and point-to-point racing. Mr Lalor will continue as a member of the committee.

“Lord Waterford remarked that the immediate and urgent concern of the committee is to work with insurance experts to conclude on a comprehensive long-term solution to meet the needs of our 46-strong Hunt Club membership.”

Insurance update

Meanwhile, hunts nationwide have been receiving updated HNSPFS Group Insurance Programme quotes for public and employers’ liability cover via LHK Insurance Group. Quotes of €30,000 for some mounted packs in Munster have been seen by The Irish Field.

It’s understood that all riders must have their own liability cover of at least €2.5 million in place and there is a €10 million limit for any one major claim.

It’s envisaged that growing a group fund over the coming years will help bring about a long-term sustainable solution to the insurance problem for the Irish hunting community. There’s been widespread endorsement from foxhound packs amid a much slower response from harrier packs.

Meanwhile, The Irish Field has also been informed that other packs, separately insured, have been asked to sign individual waivers committing riders, in the event of an accident, to acknowledge that they are solely responsible for their own safety.