Established in 1859, the Irish Masters of Foxhounds Association (IMFHA) represents the interests of 41 foxhunting packs in Ireland. It governs all matters connected to foxhunting legislation, regulation, conservation, education, communications and finance.
About the IMFHA
Under the present guidance of Horse Sport Ireland and Sport Ireland hunting is permitted to continue during Levels 1, 2, 3 and 4 of the Governments 5 Level COVID Framework, with restrictions. In all circumstances Government Guidelines supersede IMFHA protocols **Hunting members must follow IMFHA protocols and be restricted to Pods of 15.
- Please click here to download the full PDF of the protocols and feel free to use it for display or distribution -
Hunting like all other equestrian sports is to take place behind closed doors, with a set of clearly deﬁned and adhered to protocols.
Spectators and Foot Followers should be deterred, unless in an oﬃcial capacity or a guardian of a minor.
A hunt suspected of breaching protocols may be required to report to the IMFHA sub committee with responsibility. If found in breach sanctions may apply for that club.
Social media postings of hunting activity should not be permitted by clubs. We are grateful to be able to hunt and cognisant that even in normal times it has the ability to attract social debate.
Hunting has the privilege of being allowed to continue under these protocols. At all times we must be conscious and respectful of our communities who are all experiencing some form of restrictions or hardships due to COVID-19.
Like many people I have received a blizzard of emails from various hunts, cancelling all fundraising events - this is going to be financially devastating for a lot of hunts who have already had a tough winter financially.
The SABS are very good at fundraising on-line and it strikes me that with a bit of creative thought - some hunt fundraising revenue can be generated whilst we are all self-isolating.
NOT The Hunt Ball - A lot of summer Hunt Balls are not going to happen - BUT you could sell tickets on-line for £10 - 20 for "NOT The Hunt Ball." i.e. people purchase on-line, or post cheques, to buy email tickets for an event that is never going to happen!! Hunts can get as creative with this as they want - maybe you have an on-line guest list... maybe those who have bought tickets send in a "selfie" of what they would have worn on the night (just using a photo of themselves at another event / a funny photo of themselves from somewhere else)- maybe they post in requests of who they would like to "sit next to" on the night and what they would most like to "discuss" at this event, which isn't happening!!! Maybe on the night The "Not The Hunt Ball" send round an amusing email to all who have bought "tickets" with a spoof review of the evening etc etc. Actually, this could be quite fun - we are all stuck at home, so we have time to be creative!!!
Horse Events, the online entry portal, are running a series of "virtual events". You can visit their website and Virtual Team Challenge page to give you some other ideas.
People pay x on-line, or post a cheque, to enter. Round one - entrants are divided into pairs. Each of these couples go head to head. The "organiser" emails everyone to let them know who their opponent is in Round 1. Each couple then agrees between them a "time" for the match to take place - each sets up a chess board / back gammon board in their own house. They play their game using skype/facetime/texting or WhatsApping each other photographs of their move, each moving the pieces when it's their turn in their own house and then moving the pieces on the board in front of them with their opponents move... and so the game gets played. The winner goes through to the next round and so forth until there is a "final".
Pick 2 of your favorite photographs from your hunt this season - maybe a generous hunt photographer might gift the images to you. You can print these in volumes as post cards for VERY little money indeed by sending them to an on-line printer such as vistaprint etc. (We printed 1,000 HNB post cards the other day for less than £50!!) You can them "sell" them on-line / via hunt emails to your hunt supporters in packs of 10 - i.e. 5 of each image and you can sell them for a fairly healthy profit. You can save on postage by delivering some to the doors of your purchasers.
In this house we have a deep freeze still full of pheasants....so if I were running this - there would be a focus on the most inspiring "pheasant" recipes!!
If you think about it, there is a lot we can do, even in lock down. All we need to do is to get on the phone and brainstorm with each other, come up with some ideas and GO FOR IT!!!
These are just some initial thoughts so please get in touch because we can share ideas and get really creative!!
We are living in unprecedented times and so we need to come up with a new way of doing things... whilst this all goes on.
Our latest featured article, entitled 'Huntsman's Hints', is an edited extract from Hunting Hints & Breeding Thoughts by Roddy Bailey published in 2017.