Hunting in Ireland, France and Italy

Hunt in Ireland and Attend a Hunt Ball!

There are a few places in the world that seem to define the thrill of fox hunting. One of those places is the West coast of Ireland. The hunts are legendary: The Limerick, Black and Tans, Galway Blazers, Tipperary, Golden Vale, County Clare and Duhallow. All seem to revel in their great traditions and an occasional eccentric member. Now you can attend a hunt ball and enjoy the thrill of mixing socially with the members and masters of the hunt, as well as a great meal and plenty of Irish music and drink!

Your base will be the Dunraven Arms Hotel. This large but cozy hotel has everything to accommodate the fox hunting gentlemen or lady. Luxury rooms are equipped with private baths for a long soak after a day in the saddle.

The hunt balls are held in the large private dining room at the Dunraven. The dates for the balls in 2008 are: Saturday, January 5 - Stonehall Harriers Hunt Ball; Saturday January 19 – County Limerick Hunt Ball and on Saturday January 26 – Limerick Harriers Hunt Ball.

The Hunter's Bar at the Dunraven Arms Hotel has become the gathering place for members of several Irish hunts. Great stories of cunning foxes and brave horses fill the bar after the day is done. The Directors, Bryan and Louis Murphy, are fox hunters themselves, so your requests for a boxed lunch or a boot cleaning will not be a surprise to their excellent staff. If you want to brush up on your jumping or get a lesson on the etiquette of Irish hunting, it can be arranged. Novice fox hunting programs are also available.


This program features stag, roebuck and hare hunting in the famous Loire Valley of France, where these ancient sports have been practiced for hundreds of years. Your base will be the Chateau La Verrerie, a grand house built in the twelfth century and modernized recently. It is one of the more famous private chateaux in the area because it was built so that the chateau would be reflected in the adjacent lake. Your host will be the Count and local master whose kennels are on the grounds of the estate.

The best hunting in France is in the deep forest of Loire. You will hunt on wide paths in the forest, following the hounds' fast pace and listening for cues from the many horns in the field.

If you have never hunted in France, you owe it to yourself to go. The livery is out of the eighteenth century with velvet collared long hunt coats and three-cornered hats. The hunting horns are large and circular and are carried over the shoulder. At the end of a successful hunt, the staff blows a tune comprised of the calls used during the hunt.

Hunting lasts about five hours, followed by a sumptuous meal that only the French could create.


Drag Hunt with a private pack of hounds in Italy. Optional cross country fences and some of the most beautiful terrain; Etruscan ruins, lakes, forest and rolling hills. Just 30 minutes from Rome, this is an ideal place to spend a weekend, or the entire week. Wonderful 4-star accommodations, food and fun. Trail riding and lessons are also available.

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