with Horse and Hound

The Ballymacad Foxhounds, Irish Hunts, and Irish Draught Breeds: At a Crossroads

Two meets in the unique Ballymacad hunting county come on the heels of a surprise event―the sudden unavailability of hunt insurance in Ireland. Without insurance, many hunt clubs will cease to function―indeed, many have already suspended hunting temporarily. And the native Irish breeds―the Iris Draught Horse and the Irish Sport Horse―may well become extinct. The economic and cultural losses to the Ballymacad countryside and to the wider Irish countryside would be devastating.  –Ed.

Ballymacad Foxhounds huntsman Kevin Donohoe riding a home produced pure Irish Draught Horse hunterHuntsman Kevin Donahoe with the Ballymacad foxhounds riding a pure Irish Draught Horse from Donahoe's Sport Horses.  /   Noel Mullins photo

The Irish hunting fraternity has been stunned ever since the leading UK hunt insurance provider withdrew from Ireland last year. As insurance renewal dates came up in mid-season, many hunts were forced to suspend hunting. Only a small number of hunts were able to continue.

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