with Horse and Hound

Duhallow Foxhounds at Kilbrin: The Oldest Foxhound Pack in Ireland

duahallow.ger withers.powerDuahallow huntsman Ger Withers / Catherine Power photoFounded by the Wrixon-Becher family, the Duhallow foxhounds have been hunting North Cork from the Kerry border to Doneraile continuously since 1745 making it the oldest foxhound pack in Ireland. (For those who question how to reconcile that with the Scarteen, the recorded history of which goes back to the early 1700s, the keyword is “foxhounds.” The Scarteen Black and Tans are technically known as Kerry Beagles, though they dwarf any beagles we know today.)

The Duhallow pack existed before 1745, but there is no recorded history. That year, Henry Wrixon of Ballygiblin rented a fox covert, Regan’s Break, for thirteen guineas. Henry passed the pack on to his son, Colonel William Wrixon, who in turn passed it on to his own son. In 1800, Sir William Wrixon Becher, MFH met with several other gentlemen to form a club to be called the Duhallow Hunt Club. Sir William had taken on his wife’s maiden name, Becher, she from the same family for which the infamous obstacle on the Grand National Steeplechase course at Aintree, England, Becher’s Brook, is named.

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