with Horse and Hound

Opening Meet at Scarteen: A Centuries-Old Tradition

scarteen.huntsman.cropped.powerMoving off to Opening Meet in the village are Chris Ryan, MFH (at left) and huntsman Raymond O’Halloran, leading staff, hounds, and a select few. Joanna Turvey (center) wears the colors of the South Notts Foxhounds (UK).  / Catherine Power photo

Recorded Scarteen history only goes back to the early seventeen hundreds, so we don’t know exactly how long the opening meet has been held in Knocklong, Ireland. But through those centuries that have been recorded, the venue has remained an unbroken tradition.

Part and parcel of that tradition is to have hounds and followers (both foot and mounted) blessed for the coming season. This ecclesiastical duty falls to the local padre who came to the kennels with bell, book and candle to invoke Divine support. No doubt our young huntsman welcomed this as any huntsman would. However, a huntsman in his first season particularly needs a bit luck and a tail wind to see him through.

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