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Preparations underway for Ballingarry

With the new point-to-point season looming, preparations are already underway for the Ormond Foxhounds point-to-point at Ballingarry.

The first meeting of the enhanced Autumn season will take place on the 19th September at the Co. Tipperary venue which traditionally brings the season to a close on the June Bank Holiday weekend.

Hunt secretary Jessica Cahalan who is keen to get started having lost their spring fixture remarked:

"It was an awful shame that we lost our two-day fixture this year, so we were keen to get a date in the Autumn and we are very grateful to the IHRB for giving us the opening meeting of the season.

"Preparations are already underway, we have gradually been re-seeding the entire track over the last three years and this has now all been completed.  We will make sure to have the track in good condition and are prepared to water if necessary. 

"It is essential that the industry gets back up and running and we are delighted to be able to facilitate this.  The IHRB are currently working on protocols and we are prepared to put in place whatever is necessary to run our meeting.

"I am not sure if we are racing behind closed doors or not, but either way we are happy to run and look forward to welcoming the point-to-point community back."

The last time the Ormond Foxhounds point-to-point ran during the autumn term was back in 2013 having also then lost their June meeting, and it was the four-year-old maiden on that card which was run on soft ground, was won by Draycott Place, who then went on to win over €200,000 in prize money for John Ryan.

The Ormond Foxhounds have come in for particular praise in recent years for the ground that they have produced at their June fixture, with Barry O'Neill noting in his P2P.ie course guide: "The hunt does a brilliant job with their ground, putting down plenty of water to keep it safe at that time of the year."

Publication of the autumn point-to-point fixture list comes after the resumption of equestrian sport across the country, with show jumping and eventing, just two of the other disciplines to have taken full effect of the very low virus transmission rates outdoors by returning to stage their events.

The government is now set to lift restrictions on outdoor gatherings on August 10th, when crowds of up to 500 people will be allowed to gather which will offer hunt committees a further boost, and all scheduled point-to-point fixtures will adhere to Government guidelines applicable at the time.


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