with Horse and Hound

The Scarteen at Lattin and Knockcarron

power.lattin 6John Halligan stretches for a big double at Lattin. / Catherine Power photo

Spoiled for choice with three top-class Scarteen meets back-to-back, it appeared only logical to cover all three. With Christmas comes a choice of great hunting, and with scent (that essential but illusive ingredient) improving daily, the omens were good. And so it proved.

The little village of Lattin is so called because it was a seat of learning in the middle ages. The story goes that a weary traveller asked the way to Emly Cathedral of three roadside workers. The first answered in Gaelic while the second disagreed in Lattin, but the definitive directions were given in Greek. Gone are the classics, and the little village on the Tipperary/Limerick border would hardly warrant a backward glance from motorists today, but on a Scarteen hunting day it becomes a mecca. Keen enthusiasts arrange days off, marriages are postponed, and births delayed so that they might be there because it is a special place. Horses had been rested or galloped with the point-to-pointers in preparation for the day.

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