with Horse and Hound

An American Foxhunter Meets the Irish Banks

fugateandgus2.johnflavinThe author on Gus: muddied but unbowed / John Flavin photoDid you ever hear the expression “cheating death?” This question was posed to me by Bob Goodman, my newfound friend and fellow foxhunter, as we both emerged from one of those double drain jumps common to the south of Ireland. The question carried added meaning coming from Bob, a former Air Force fighter pilot with 336 combat missions in Vietnam.

I arrived in Ireland on January 18, 2019 and made my way from the airport straight to Flavin’s stable near Tramore in County Waterford to practice jumping banks and ditches before the next morning’s hunt. On a good horse who knew his business, I found these obstacles to be easy enough, and I was assured that actual hunt conditions would be no more challenging than these practice jumps. Although confident, I had a sense that actual conditions might in fact be different…

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