THE Iveagh Foxhounds are on the hunt for charity cash with the launch of a glossy calendar showcasing everything from their regular meets to action-packed appearances at Magheralin Point-to-Point and the Balmoral and Odyssey Horse Shows.
Twelve businesses from as far afield as Dromore, Banbridge, Gilford, Benburb, Belfast, Newtownabbey and Ballyclare have generously sponsored the 2009 calendar, which features the on-the-spot photography of Lisa Hutchinson, Boyd McClurg, Nelson Andrews, Valerie Irvine, Tommy Leckey and AWD Photos.
The project marks a return to earlier fundraising success for the Iveagh Foxhounds, who produced a similar calendar for 2007, raising a staggering 4,000; 2,000 each for Newry Hospice and the Injured Jockeys Fund.
With the bit firmly between their teeth, that's a fence they hope to jump this time around in the knowledge that there's no reining in the well-known generosity of locals when it comes to a good cause.
This year's beneficiaries are to be a locally-based Multiple Sclerosis charity and, again, the Injured Jockeys Fund.
"Production of the calendar has been paid for through the sponsorship," said the Foxhounds' Mr. Patrick Hanna, "and all the money raised goes to the charities.
"A limited number of the calendars have been made and they are on sale at Graham's Newsagents, 28 Market Square, Dromore (tel: 028 9269 2336) and Johnston's Saddlery, Lurgan Road, Banbridge (tel: 028 4066 0777)."
The minimum donation per calendar is 5.
In acknowledgement of the co-operation of all the farmers and landowners on whose land they hunt, the Iveagh Foxhounds have endeavoured to give each a complimentary copy of the calendar and any farmers or landowners who have yet to receive a copy can obtain one by calling the kennels on 028 4066 2752.
The Iveagh Foxhounds' thanks go to those same farmers and landowners, also everyone who in any way helped with the production and sponsorship of the calendar and those who permitted the use of their photographs.
As well as some candid camerawork, page by page the hunt calendar includes a selection of appropriate proverbs and quotations researched by none other than hunt chairman Mr. David Shillington himself.
They include the following gem by 19th Century English sporting journalist and novelist R. S. Surtees - " . . many a good run I have in my sleep. Many a dig in the ribs I gives the Mrs. when I thinks they're running into the warmint. No man is fit to be called a sportsman wot doesn't kick his wife out of bed on haverage once in every three weeks."