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United Hunt

By Alan Magee
The United Hunt is one of the longest established in the country covering a wide area of East Cork, and there are six point-to-point meetings run under the auspices of the Hunt.

The Ballindenisk point-to-point is run directly by the United Hunt, and the right-handed venue bucked the trend of relatively small cards at alot of points this year as Chairman Dominic Daly explains. “We had 151 horses and 11 races last Sunday (May 8) and, while the weather was quite wet and windy, it was a great success.”

A view of the point to point at Bartlemy
A view of the point to point at Bartlemy
(© Healy Racing Photos)
The point-to-points at Lisgoold, Carrigtwohill, Dungourney, Ballynoe and Bartlemy are all run by different committee's but under the auspices of the United Hunt.

Daly, a leading auctioneer and estate agent in Cork, is one of the main driving forces and has been Chairman of the United Hunt for over ten years. “I've been involved in hunting for probably 50 years. The United Hunt is based in East Cork and covers an area from the Cork/Mallow Road up to the River Bride and from Tallow to the coast,” explains the Montenotte resident.

Daly is particularly proud of their new kennel development saying, “I'd say we have the most modern hunt kennels in Ireland. They are on a 30 acre site at Clonmult, and we have sold the existing ones.”

The United Hunt use the land of Grand National winning trainer and point-to-point enthusiast Jimmy Mangan at it's eastern border in Tallow. “Ballindenisk is run on Robert Fell's land. Alot of three-day eventing goes on there, and he's a great sporting man whose big into the hunting,” explains Mangan.

He added, “I was lucky enough to have three winners at Ballindenisk last Sunday. It's a good, safe track that attracts a lot of runners, and you know that was one of the greatest banks courses of all times. There are no banks there now of course sure most of the horses wouldn't know what a bank is now, let alone the jockeys!”

Mangan also has fond memories of Bartlemy, which hosts its annual point-to-point meeting on Sunday May 15. “I remember riding a winner there for Tommy Wade called Von Trappe. He was one of the very few four-year-olds that won a good winners race, and he went on to win at the Cheltenham Festival.”

“Bartlemy is run over two different farms of the Barry's (Pat and Robert), and we have been very fortunate down south that we've had plenty of rain in the last few weeks. It's a very safe track especially when there is an ease in the ground,” added Mangan, who hopes to run Annacarton in the Open race.

There has been a point-to-point at Bartlemy since 1939 and, according to secretary Eddie Barry, has been run at the current site “for 50 years or more”. Barry has carried out the duty of secretary since 1989, and took over from his father James who held the position “for about 40 years”.

“Bartlemy is a fine, big, galloping right-handed track and a lot of good horses have won here in the past such as Jack Of Trumps, Tell Massini, The Minack and Another Excuse. It's grand now that we got the sup of rain and the ground should be perfect for Sunday. There is a good entry for the time of the year,” said Barry.