McCaw Supreme Champion at hound show

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Top job . . . Christchurch Hunt huntsman, Dave Ferriman successfully competing in the Horn Blowing competition at the Coprice South Island Hound Show hosted by the Brackenfield Hunt at the Sefton Domain on Wednesday last week. PHOTO: SHELLEY TOPP

By SHELLEY TOPP

A hound named after former All Blacks captain Richie McCaw won the Supreme Champion award at the Coprice South Island Hound Show last week.

McCaw was presented by Waimate Hunt huntsman Hamish Wall, at the show which was held at the Sefton Domain last Wednesday.

Judged in a parade ring, the hounds were walked by their handlers before being placed on a podium for closer inspection.

The top honour was a close call with judge Lauryn Robertson, from the Waikato Hunt, also having high praise for the runner-up, Champion Bitch Hound Indi, presented by Otago Hunt handler Kate Beattie.

“The overall quality of the hounds was good, but the bitches were extremely lovely,” he said.

“All the hounds were well presented.”

This was despite bitterly cold conditions for the outdoor event with a persistent mix of rain, sleet, hail and snow transforming the grass show arena into a slippery, muddy surface.

Hound Show secretary and Brackenfield Hunt patroness Christine Chinnery said eight of the nine South Island hunts were represented at the show.

Birchwood, Brackenfield, Central Otago, Christchurch, Eastern Southland, Otago, South Canterbury and Waimate were all came along and braved the weather.

“Starborough Hunt from Blenheim are the only Hunt that was unable to attend this show which was sponsored by Coprice, with supporting sponsors, Balcairn Stockfoods, and Higgs Construction,” she said.

“We are very grateful to our sponsors. Without them we would not have been able to run the Hound Show.” The show ended with the horn blowing competition.

Huntsmen from the various hunts stepped up to blow their horns to try to win “The South Island Horn Blowing Challenge Trophy”.

Horns are used by the huntsmen to convey instructions to their hounds out in the field, in much the same way that shepherds give instructions to their dogs using a whistle.

For this competition judges had to stand with their backs to the competitors some distance away and make their judgement on each competitor’s horn blowing ability without seeing them.

Dave Ferriman, huntsman for the Christchurch Hunt, was the winner and he was presented with the trophy at the show by Mr Robertson.

The trophy, a horn mounted on a slab of wood with a brass plaque, was sponsored by the Christchurch Hunt.

Mr Ferriman said the horn was a gift to him from his former father-in-law who bought it for him in England.

“I couldn’t get a note out of it,” he said.

So the English horn was put to use instead as a trophy.

More photos page 25.