ON Sunday, July 2nd, hunt supporters from all over Ireland will gather for the National Hound Show at Stradbally, Co Laois. Generously hosted by the Cosby family, the finest hounds in Ireland will be produced in front of internationally known judges who will consider the result of their breeding programmes.

When you see these hounds floating across the ring, the spectator is witnessing the product of many years’ breeding. What have they done to produce such hounds to the Stradbally standard? How do the hunts get started breeding?